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A wildfire in Island Falls burned nearly 240 acres SOURCE: Maine Forest Rangers

The Maine Forest Service is banning outside burning until further notice as the extended stretch of dry, warm weather continues across the state, according to WMTW.

Officials say crews have already battled an unprecedented number of wildfires in Maine this year.

As of Monday, Rangers reported 663 wildfires in 2020, burning 847 acres. That is the second-highest total fire count in the last 10 years, and the season is just beginning. Rangers said the number of wildfires caused by campfires is up 170% compared to last year.

The Maine Forest Service also announced Monday that a 28-year-old man has been charged with illegal disposal of lighted material and igniting the Island Falls wildfire that torched the slope of Robinson/May Mountain and nearby wildlands earlier this month.

That fire burned nearly 240 acres before it was contained. The total estimated cost associated with fighting the fire exceeds $100,000.

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