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Rash of Powerline-caused Wildfires Renews Concerns Regarding CMP Corridor Proposal
Maine State Federation of Firefighters’ Letter More Relevant Now Than Ever
FARMINGTON - In light of the rash of powerline-caused wildfires over the course of the last week, No CMP Corridor urges a renewed interest in Maine State Federation of Firefighters’ concerns regarding CMP’s proposed power corridor to bring electricity from Quebec to Massachusetts on newly-constructed high voltage lines through the undeveloped woods of western Maine. Along the proposed corridor route, approximately 70 miles, from the Quebec border to Bingham, has no organized fire or emergency response capacity.
According to the Maine Forest Rangers, at least four powerline-caused fires were extinguished over the last few days, including fires in Mt. Vernon, Monson, Davis Twp. and Dixmont. So far this year, there have been at least 500 wildfires in Maine, with the threat level reaching “red flag” over the holiday weekend.
“It is a common misconception that wildfires aren’t really a concern here in Maine. But as this unusually active fire season has shown us, that isn’t necessarily true,” said Sandi Howard of No CMP Corridor. “CMP often uses the fact that Massachusetts ratepayers are picking up the tab for their for-profit project as a selling point to Mainers, but it’s important to consider that in the event of a wildfire, it’s the Maine taxpayers and volunteers who will be liable to extinguish forest fires; not CMP or the Massachusetts ratepayers.”
Howard continued, “As highlighted by the Maine State Federation of Firefighters’ letter to Governor Mills, much of the proposed corridor route cuts through undeveloped wilderness that lacks organized fire or emergency response capacity, and the existing, largely volunteer-based fire departments, lack the equipment and resources required to fight wildfires in those conditions. The bottom line is that Mainers will bear all of the burden and risk associated with this corridor so CMP and their foreign shareholders can profit.”