After rains early in July abated extreme conditions, fires are starting again that are unusually large and vigorous for Southern New England.

July continued the dry year, down 0.6 inches from normal precipitation, with the year to date 4.5 inches below normal. 14 days during the month temps were above 90.

One, in Harvard, MA, is believed to have been ignited by lighting on Sunday, 7/25 but wasn't discovered by fire tower observers until Wednesday, 7/28, although neighborhood residents had smelled smoke as early as Monday. The fire, a half mile in the woods, required more than 24 hours and 100,000 gallons of water to extingush. Harvard received aid from State Forestry, Bolton, Boxboro, Devens, Leominster, Lancaster, littleton, and Ayer.

Also on Wednesday, firefighters from Branford, North Branford, East Haven, and Guilford, CT fought a mile long blaze along the side of I-95 thought to have been sparked by a passing commuter train.

On Saturday, 8/1 70 firefighters in Norwich, CT fought an elusive blaze reportedly a 1/4 mile off the road and 1/2 mile in diameter. East Great Plains Fire Co. used Hartford Hospital's LifeStar helicopter to locate the fire and direct crews in. EGP was assisted by Norwich, Yantic, Occum, Taftville, Laurel Hill, and Mohegan Fire Departments, and the State DEP provided 200 gallons of foam for the effort.

On Sunday, 8/1 Hamden, CT had a 20 acre brushfire that required mutual aid from 5 towns to control, and units were on scene into the evening.