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Apr 21, 2016 10:02 PM

Stoddard blaze upgraded to 'forest fire' as crews battle it overnight


STODDARD - It's been along few days for crews who have been out fighting brush fires since Sunday. Now investigators believe all of the fires along Route 9 were intentionally set.

Crews were called to the scene around 1 P.M. Thursday, having just finished mopping up a brushfire from Wednesday.

Three helicopters scooped up buckets of water to dump on the fire from above as dozens of crews from across the state battled the forest fire that is spread across 100 acres

“The concern is getting this fire to our containment so that we can work on the fire itself rather than it working on us,” said Stoddard Forest Fire Warden Joe Sacrione.

Investigators are searching for two suspects they believe are responsible.

“We’re looking for two bikes that were running around setting fires,” Sarcione said.

State Police, the State Fire Marshal's Office, NH Forest and Lands, and Stoddard Police are all working together in the investigation. The Governor’s office is offering any support they may need.

“We were working on an evacuation plan for tomorrow in the event that this thing blows up again and starts making a run for center of town,” Sarcione said.

17 homes were evacuated, those families were offered shelter in Keene. No one was injured and no homes were damaged. The Red Cross and Salvation Army have teamed up to help crews and any families who are temporarily displaced.

Witnesses with potential information to report are encouraged to call the state’s arson hotline at (800) 400-3526.

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