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Local Staff Ride Archive

Stand 5 - Seal Harbor

By October 24th the gale force winds had subsided. The fire managers of the National Park Service met to collect, assess, and reorganize their equipment and personnel. Wilbur Savage was designated as Fire Boss and subsequent organizational and tactical assignments were made. Supplies and personnel poured in from all over the United States as the evacuation of residents continued.

Control lines in the form of hose line, dozer lines, and hand lines were established and defended. The fire made no rapid advances after the morning of October 24th. On October 27th the fire was declared contained. As rains moved into the area and reinforcement of control lines and mop-up operations continued, the fire was declared out at 1600 on November 14th. The fire had burned a total of 17,333 acres, 8,750 of which was on Acadia National Park lands.

The Mount Desert Island Fire, along with the other wildfires which burned over 200,000 acres across the state of Maine that Fall resulted in a major reassessment of the needs, threats, hazards, and costs of fighting wildlfires locally, state-wide, and nationally. Locally, recovery from fire would take years; however, it became the number one priority. Fire departments quickly replaced lost or destroyed equipment and immediately began upgrading their ability to tackle wildland fires so that the 1947 fire situation would never be repeated. Policies, standards, and cooperative agreements were developed at all levels and are still in force today in order to effect a more rapid, coordinated and ultimately effective response to any wildland emergency.

The town of Seal Harbor was threatened but not burned as the fire stopped about a mile inland.

The parking area near the intersection of Stanley Brook Road and Route 3 is a good place for the integration summary phase of the staff ride.