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Officials are hoping the rain forecast today will help to lower the state's high forest and brush fire danger level.  State forester Chris Martin says 12 hours of steady rain will have a positive impact. 

 

Martin says a brush fire which began Friday night at Lovers Leap State Park in New Milford, which has gone underground but occassionally surfaces, is expected to continue to smolder for several more days.  That fire has scorched about 12 acres.  Martin says there are containment lines in place.  The fire department has been on the scene as they get new reports of smoke.

 

Martin says with summer drought conditions will cause the peat to burn, and that in turn will cause roots of trees to catch fire.  He says they will then smolder underground undetected from some time, and suddenly surface.

 

Martin says the dry weather and the gypsy moth de-foliation are among the factors that have contributed to the high danger level.  A dry lightning strike, unintended campfires and fireworks have contributed to blazes this year.  He urges people to be careful with fire outdoors.

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