By COLIN FLANDERS

Fire crews fought a brush fire near Route 289 in Essex on Monday evening after residents reported smelling smoke that afternoon.

Those reports prompted crews to investigate the scene, and by 4:40 p.m., the fire had spread to several acres, a press release said. Access to the area was restricted due to steep, rocky terrain.
A second alarm was quickly called due to the high heat index, requesting mutual aid from the Underhill-Jericho, Colchester Center, St. Michael’s College, Malletts Bay, Williston, Winooski and Richmond Fire Departments.

The crews fully extinguished the fire around 8:30 p.m. Officials believe the blaze started as an “improper outdoor campfire,” the press release said.

Essex Rescue and St. Michael’s Rescue were on scene to provide rehab and medical monitoring to those fighting the blaze, while Essex police assisted in traffic control.