Dartmouth Mall Brush Fire Comes Too Close for Comfort [VIDEO]
For the past several days, ABC6 Meteorologist Skylar Spinler has been reporting on "red flag" warnings due to an elevated risk of fire. Unusually warm temperatures and dry conditions combined with wind gusts up to 20 mph all come together to create these combustible conditions.
These warnings are not empty. You don't have to look much farther than Dartmouth for proof. A brush fire erupted Tuesday night at Dartmouth Mall. Employees at the attached gym saw the bushes and bark mulch in flames adjacent to Work Out World.
Cole Teles from New Bedford was one of the eyewitnesses. He said he was finishing up his shift at Party City in the mall when he walked outside and saw the bushes on fire.
"It was pretty shocking," he said. "That's not something you see every day, especially at a place like that outside the mall."
The 19-year-old said he believes a discarded cigarette may have sparked the fire at the mall.
Spinler said that the warm, dry, windy weather contributed to widespread brush fires Wednesday in Rhode Island, where more than 150 acres of land were burning.
Deputy Chief Theodore Borges of Dartmouth Fire Department said when a red flag warning is in effect it is extra important not to discard cigarettes while driving or to burn brush in your yard.
"Cigarette butts are a big problem," he said. "On the highways, we've been having multiple brush fires, and they are possibly due to flicking them out the windows."