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Suspicious' brush fires keeping fire departments busy

MORRISONVILLE - A rash of suspicious brush fires have been keeping crews from the Morrisonville Volunteer Fire Department busy in recent weeks, leaving the department with more questions than answers.

Since last month, Fire Chief Francis E. Brousseau said the department has responded to 18 calls that are of "suspicious" origin. The fires have been set in various locations, mainly in remote areas, and appear to have been set intentionally.

"These are suspicious fires that are starting in the middle of nowhere," said Brousseau. "There's no rhyme, no reason. They wouldn't start without someone deliberately setting them."

The first fire Brousseau deemed suspicious happened in the early evening hours of April 13, located near Macomb Reservation State Park, off Norrisville Road. The fire was believed to have been set not far from a trail that leads into the woods, said Brousseau.

Fires that have occurred in the weeks since have been scattered throughout the department's coverage area in rural locations like Kent Falls and Turner roads in the town of Schuyler Falls as well as Military Turnpike and Banker, Bullis, Brown, Irish Settlement and Rand Hill roads in the town of Plattsburgh. Some of the fires have occurred closer to the department within the hamlet of Morrisonville off Mason, River and Ladue streets, he added.

"They're pretty much all in the same area," said Brousseau, who added the other fires have also occurred during early evening hours, anywhere between 4-7 p.m. each time.

Most recently, the department responded to a brush fire off Kimberly Lane Monday night. That fire was called in shortly after 6 p.m., coinciding with the same time frame as the previous fires. The fire, which took the department more than two hours to extinguish, burned approximately two acres of trees and dry brush.

"We've got a fire bug out there somewhere," said Brousseau. "Someone's playing games with us. And, we're getting tired of it."

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