Sprucewold Column: Filling up, Firewise and more

Mon, 07/08/2019 - 11:00am

All of a sudden, Sprucewold is in full swing. Cabins are full, kids and dogs everywhere and beach goers are enjoying the fine weather. Despite the cancellation of our opening gathering Saturday night due to the thunderstorm, the rain date on Sunday was very well attended enhanced by the beautiful weather. The mosquitoes were also out in good numbers.

Now is the time to begin thinking about our Firewise activities for this summer. Two dates to keep in mind: Wednesday, July 24, we will be offering wildfire cabin assessments by the Maine Forest Service. This program will assess your cabin’s ability to survive a wildfire and what you can easily do to improve that ability. We have run this program in the past and it has been very well received. If you would like to participate, please contact me. You do not need to be at your cabin for the assessment to take place as you will receive a follow up report.

On Tuesday, Aug. 6, we will have our annual Brush Chipping Day also run by the Maine Forest Service. Applications are required and we have room for about 30 participants. You just need to cut the brush and have it at the side of the road by August 5th. Additional information about both programs will be emailed to you shortly.

I will also include my annual update on fire safety in Sprucewold. All of us have significant investments in our cabins so your interest in fire safety should be paramount. We have had two cabins burn in Sprucewold, one that included a loss of life. We don’t want this repeated.

Maine law prohibits outdoor burning of any kind without a permit. Generally, they only will issue these during the winter when there is heavy rain and snow covers the ground. Although fireworks can be purchased in the surrounding area, it is illegal, by town ordinance to light them off in Boothbay Harbor. If anyone sees fire activity of any kind, they will call the police and/or the fire department.

When the Boothbay Harbor Planning Board gave approval for the renovation of the Sprucewold Lodge, they included a provision that will make the water in the in-ground pool available for fire fighting efforts. All of these efforts go a long way towards keeping Sprucewold safe from fire. Our local fire chief said to us in a meeting once, “my biggest fear is a fire starting in Sprucewold.” So, the watchword is that we are all responsible for fire safety. And if you rent your cabin, it is your responsibility to let your renters know about fire safety in Sprucewold.

I will finish this column with my annual plea for column writers. It is a fun job, you meet some people and, perhaps, learn more about Sprucewold. And, you only need to do the column once unless, of course, you are a prolific writer. Contact me if interested.

Enjoy the summer!