The Andover Fire Department responded to a brush fire in the Cochran Bird Sanctuary on Monday, April 4. The fire was reported around 5:40 p.m., according to Mark Leonard, Director of Campus Safety, with its cause yet to be identified.
“Someone was walking in the Sanctuary around 5:40 p.m. on Monday evening, when they noticed a brush fire and called the Andover Fire Department to report it. The fire department along with Campus Safety responded. The brush fire was located in the Sanctuary, and the fire department was able to quickly control it and extinguish it. The fire charred about one acre of land and was never close to any Academy or residential buildings,” wrote Leonard in an email to The Phillipian.
According to Leonard, access to the Sanctuary will be limited throughout the investigation. There have also been reports of brown water from Nathan Hale, a dorm in close proximity to the Sanctuary. Supposedly, the use of Pine Knoll cluster’s fire hydrant has stirred the sediments in the water pipes, according to Semira Robinson ’23. Leonard, although not notified of said water conditions, plans to report these concerns to the Office of Physical Plant for investigation.
“We have been speaking with the Andover Fire Department and firefighters from the Massachusetts Forest Fire Control Department to try and determine the cause of the fire. In the meantime, we will keep the Sanctuary closed. We will continue to try to determine how the fire may have started and then decide on appropriate next steps. In the meantime, we have already discussed posting signs in the Sanctuary reminding people that smoking is not allowed and have considered limiting the hours the Sanctuary is open,” wrote Leonard.