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Atop fire towers, crews working to stop fires before they begin – Boston News, Weather, Sports


PRINCETON, MASS. (WHDH) – Fifty feet above the tree line, fire crews were hard at work Thursday combatting fires before they even began.

Andrew Theve and Bryan Colwell were among the workers with the DCR Forest Fire Control sitting above the summit of Wachusett Mountain in Princeton Thursday. The crewmen are kept busy in their perch, spotting fires and smoke as they crop up along the wide horizon.

After a sweltering heatwave in July, the pair say they are well-versed at navigating a job that can become chaotic in a hurry.

“Lot of communication. Lot of moving around. Lot of multi-tasking,” said Andrew Theve. “But it can get pretty hectic, especially under conditions like this.”

“It can get complicated when it gets busy,” said Colwell. “We constantly survey the area and help the local fire departments.”

According to Fire Warden Patricia Correia, droughts often pose a problem for fire crews.

“The problem is, once fires are found, they’ve usually had a head start on us,” said Correia. “So they go down into the organic and soil layer and travel underground.”

“We need the public to understand the conditions that we’re in and to be smart with fire and that it can spread really rapidly and get out of hand,” said Theve.

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