Crews Fighting Brush Fire In White Mountain National Forest

SHELBURNE, N.H. (AP) — Crews on Tuesday were battling an estimated 45-acre brush fire in New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest and said it might have been caused by a person who started the fire for warmth or cooking.

The fire is west of the Leadmine State Forest in steep, mountainous terrain and burned across part of the Appalachian Trail, the U.S. Forest Service said in a social media post. The fire was reported on Monday morning.

"There are no major threats to life or property at this time. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation," the Forest Service said.

The service later said “a person of interest has been identified and interviewed ... While the cause of the fire is under investigation, it may have been due to a warming fire that accidentally escaped."

The fire has spread outside the U.S. Forest Service jurisdiction and crews from New Hampshire and Maine and local fire departments are helping to battle it, officials said.

A red flag warning was issued through Tuesday night for other parts of New Hampshire, such as the seacoast and the Lake Sunapee, Monadnock and Merrimack Valley areas. The weather service said strong wind and very dry air was expected to create critical fire weather conditions.