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UPDATE: Wildfire near Fountain Bluff in Shawnee National Forest was human-caused, official says
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UPDATE: Wildfire near Fountain Bluff in Shawnee National Forest was human-caused, official says


Smoke from a wildfire burning in the Fountain Bluff area of the Shawnee National Forest near Gorham was visible on Wednesday. Cause of the approximately 20-acre fire is still under investigation.

GORHAM — A wildfire that prompted responses from several fire departments Tuesday night into Wednesday in the Shawnee National Forest was likely human-caused, according to the U.S. Forest Service. 

Gorham Fire Chief Ron Guetersloh said his crew was called out about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday to a fire near Fountain Bluff. The property is privately owned but still part of the Shawnee National Forest, Guetersloth said.

Guetersloh said he didn’t have many details on the blaze but noted the fire was still under investigation. He said Gorham firefighters worked alongside the Murphysboro Pomona Somerset Fire Department, Tower Rock Fire Department, and the U.S. Forest Service.

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Because of dangerous terrain, Guetersloh said he called his firefighters off the blaze at about 8 p.m. Tuesday and returned Wednesday morning. 

Mary McCorvie, spokesperson for the forest service, said the fire grew from its 15-acre perimeter Wednesday morning to 27 acres by around 3 p.m. Wednesday. 

However, McCorvie said, this is “not a huge fire by any means.” She said she expects the fire to “just be a memory" because of rain in the forecast for Thursday.

McCorvie said the cause of the fire remains unknown, though forest service officials believe it was human-caused.

An airplane drops fire retardant over the Pine Gulch fire in western Colorado in August.


On Twitter: @ismithreports


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