Bear Island Fire, Memorial Day 2009 - 5/25/2009
On Monday May 25, 2009, Memorial Day, a fire broke out along the power line right
of way in back of 285 and 287 Bear Island, when a tree was blown down by high
winds and fell in to the power lines. What started as a small grass fire,
quickly escalated to a forest fire as 30-35 mph pushed the flames along the
power lines and up the hill northward.
25-30 island neighbors using rakes, shovels and hand carried water slowed down the fire's progress until the Meredith fire boat arrived, and was able to get significant water on to the fire. Eventually fire boats from Gilford, Center Harbor and Laconia joined the fight and knocked down the fire despite high winds continuing to re-ignite hot spots. About 30 fireman from the 4 departments participated in the fight.
Luckily, the Meredith Fire Fighters were already at "Y" Landing responding to the helicopter crash on Pine Island. This allowed the Fire Boat to arrive at 285 Bear within 15-20 minutes of the first call.
The burn area covered an area of 50-60 feet by 300 feet.
Photos by Karen McCarty