Did you ever wonder what happens when there is a fire on one of the islands on Lake Winnipesaukee?  I once noticed that on Bear Island there are backpack fire tanks set along Lovers Lane for islanders to use in response to a fire until the Meredith Fire Department can get to the site.


On Memorial Day in 2009 the Meredith Fire Department responded when a fire broke out along the power line right of way in back of 285 and 287 Bear Island.  A tree had been blown down on power lines.  A small grass fire quickly escalated into a forest fire as 30-35 mile per hour winds pushed the flames along the power lines and up the hill northward.


25-30 islanders and neighbors using rakes, shovels, and hand-carried water slowed down the fire’s progress until the Meredith Fire Department boat arrived.  They were then able to get significant water to the fire.  Eventually, the fire boats from Gilford, Center Harbor, and Laconia joined the fight and knocked down the fire despite high winds continuing to re-ignite hot spots.  About 30 firemen from 4 departments participated in the fight.


It turns out that each town/city around the lake has a fire boat and responds to the islands in their jurisdiction when needed.