PORTLAND, Maine — Maine's spring brush fire season is off to an early start, as the snowpack is diminishing in central and southern Maine during this stretch of sunny, mild weather.
The time between snowmelt and "green up" is when brush fires occur most often in Maine. Even in a rainy spring, they happen. In dry patterns, they can become even more common.
At this point, the sun angle is equal to mid-September. High in the sky, and without leaves on the trees blocking some of it from reaching the forest floors, it quickly dries out the topsoil.
The dead grass, leaves, and brush act as fuel. If ignited, they'll flame up quickly. Add a bit of a breeze, and any fires can spread.
The early start to this season means it may be a long one. We are still weeks away from "green up".
It's worth noting last year was the most active wildfire season on record in Maine, with fires sparking through the summer, fueled by the prolonged drought.