- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 24, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The Maine Forest Service says the number of wildfires in the state is approaching 100 and that more than 60 acres have burned so far this year.

Forest Ranger Jeff Currier tells the Portland Press Herald the service responded to 20 wildfires Monday.

Currier says most fires were accidental in nature, including one in Monmouth over the weekend that started when an orchard employee tried to smoke a woodchuck from a hole in the ground. The brush fire burned almost 2 acres (0.8 hectares) of grass and brush.

Fire officials say the spring combination of warm temperatures and low humidity pose a risk.

The Sun Journal reports the state has averaged 500 wildfires and 483 acres burned each year for the past 10 years.

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