Because of muddy conditions, a Sunday evening field fire near 184 state Route 44 in Randolph spread to about 23 acres before firefighters could extinguish it.
Upon arrival at the field shortly before 8 p.m., firefighters found several acres of field blazing about 1,000 feet from the roadway, Assistant Chief Mark Hamilton said. Firefighters could drive into the field, but the thick mud made further progress impossible. So they had to carry water back to the woods, he said.
Photos posted by the fire department show firefighters slogging over a charred muddy landscape with heavy sacks of water slung over their backs.
By the time firefighters put out the fire an hour and a half later, some 23 acres of fields, woods and swamp had burned.
The property is owned by Duane Rothermel, but firefighters were unable to find him while the incident was ongoing. He did not return messages from The Portager on Tuesday.
Randolph Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire. No injuries were reported.