It’s the perfect time of year to camp in Maine, so many people are flocking to Acadia National Park for a night outdoors.
Many of those who are camping, however, are doing it illegally.
According to Christie Anastasia, the public affairs specialist for Acadia National Park, there have already been three illegal camp sites found in the park this season. One of those caused a small wildfire on the base of Cadillac Mountain.
"It wasn’t a designated camp site, so we didn’t know the location,” said Anastasia.
Park officials were alerted to smoke coming from the base of Cadillac Mountain on Friday, June 7. The Mount Desert and Bar Harbor Fire Departments had to respond.
"We pulled the line in through the woods," said Bar Harbor Fire Chief Matt Bartlett. "We used a couple lines to get around the fire and extinguish it and keep it from spreading."
That fire only spread a quarter of an acre in Acadia, but the risk of other wildfires is a problem -- especially on an island like Acadia is.
"The propensity for that campfire to spread, get out of control, have a slower response rate, and maybe even spread to the surrounding community is just too great a risk," said Anastasia.
Acadia does have four campgrounds that visitors at the park are able to stay at. Even at legal campgrounds, however, fire safety is becoming a problem.
According to Anastasia, park rangers have also been noticing a greater number of legal fires at campgrounds that are left unattended. She says even a small breeze could quickly cause a fire to spread.