Followup on Alton, NH fire

Here is an update on the fire near Alton, NH that Wildfire Today covered on April 13.  An excerpt from

Fire Chief Scott Williams remains humble.

He defers accolades for his quick decision-making on April 12, which prevented a historic 14-alarm fire at the Christian Conference Center on the bay from getting out of control, to the men and women who fought the blaze — and the dispatchers who managed the response.

Williams, who assumed command of the Alton Fire Department in February, is responsible for running the show in a town some firefighters call the “Bermuda Triangle” of the state.

“Alton has taken a thrashing for the last couple of years,” Gilmanton Fire Chief K.G. Lockwood said, citing a 30-acre wildfire on Mt. Major last year, a pile of 3,000 tires that burned in 2007 and the Alton Bay pavilion, which was destroyed in a four-alarm fire in 2006.

On Easter Sunday, hundreds of firefighters and an estimated 73 pieces of equipment from 57 fire departments and emergency support agencies across the state were called to fight a wind-driven fire at the conference center, founded in 1863. The blaze destroyed 45 and damaged 12 privately owned seasonal cottages on conference center land. Firefighters contained the fire and prevented it from spreading into the dense collection of businesses, and seasonal and year-round homes around the bay.

“The volume of fire was almost unimaginable,” Williams said, adding that he agrees with Laconia Fire Chief Ken Erickson and other fire chiefs who responded in calling the blaze the “fire of a career.”

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