According to an article on the WCSH 6 website, several recent wildfires in Penobscot County were started by a damaged car or truck component.

The article explains that the fires, which were ignited on Route 6 in Lincoln and Lee on Thursday, were caused by part of a vehicle's catalytic converter.

A post on the Maine Forest Rangers Facebook page says, in part:

Ranger David Loome's investigation of several wildfires reported on Route 6 in the towns of Lee and Lincoln on Thursday. As you can see, from a wide view of one of the scenes, to narrowing in and finding the cause - pieces of a vehicle's catalytic converter are to blame.

Pictures included in the Facebook post show pieces of a damaged catalytic converter on the ground near where the fire started.

Catalytic components, which are found on all gas-powered vehicles, reduce the amount of pollution given off by the vehicle's exhaust.  As the component contains valuable minerals like platinum, they are often a target of thieves.

Forest fires in Maine

As one of the most forested states in the country, there are always concerns about forest fires in Maine.

Over the last century, there have been several severe wildfires in Maine.  One of the most notable was the 1947 forest fire that burned over 17,000 acres near Bar Harbor (over 10,000 of which were in Acadia National Park).  You can read more about that devastating fire from the National Park Service website.

In order to keep people updated on the current level of fire danger, the Maine Forestry Service has a live map showing the current fire danger in various parts of the state.  Find it HERE.

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