Army National Guard Unit Helicopters Bring Firefighting Equipment to Remote Maine Island

By Ricker, NokNoi | Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), July 10, 2014 | Go to article overview

Army National Guard Unit Helicopters Bring Firefighting Equipment to Remote Maine Island


Ricker, NokNoi, Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME)


BANGOR, Maine -- Lobstermen near Criehaven called 911 Tuesday to report a fire on the remote island and the Maine Army National Guard's 126th Aviation Medevac unit was called into action to transport equipment and Maine Forest Service personnel to the location.

The fire call was actually a training session for seven state and federal agencies involved -- but the 400-gallon mobile water trailer that was airlifted to the 300-acre island, located just south of Matinicus in outer Penobscot Bay, will remain to be used for any actual fires that break out in the future.

Jeff Jones, a lobsterman who has lived on the island most of his life, said in a National Guard press release sent out Thursday that the island has no actual roads, just paths for four-wheelers and utility vehicles, and it has no police presence or firefighting capabilities. He and others requested firefighting equipment after the last fire.

"The last two fires we had, we put out with bucket brigades," Jones said. "That's guys running up with buckets of water trying to put out the fire."

Jones said after the last fire, he renewed his request for firefighting equipment, and he was pleased that the Bangor-based 126th arrived with the mobile water tank.

"With this tank, we will have a water source that anyone on the island can come up, turn a valve, and we will be in business," Jones said. "It will be good for this side of the island. We don't even have a well here, [and] we had nothing to fight a fire with, nothing."

Criehaven, also known as Ragged Island, is an unorganized township, so it falls under Knox County for certain services, including firefighting. …

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