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Park lovers want to know what’s causing recent fires


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    BOSTON (WBZ) — A recent series of fires in Boston’s Franklin Park has some questioning if they are suspicious or just the result of the recent dry spell.

Dale Schneider, of Jamaica Plain, recently came upon the charred remains of a favorite tree painting in the park that depicts a wizard, affectionately known as the “Wizard in the Tree.”

“It’s been here for a long time; it’s so cherished and magical,” said Schneider.

In the open city space of more than 500 acres, several recent fires have left burned branches and trees along popular walking paths and tucked into the woods. It has Rickie Thompson with the Franklin Park Coalition questioning if they are suspicious.

“It is concerning to me. I don’t know if it’s arson or just a brush fire. It certainly is concerning to a lot of people who cherish Franklin Park,” said Thompson.

Yesterday, there were four fires in different areas of the park, and many who frequent the area say the weather could also be an issue.

“I think there’s always concern when there’s dry conditions like this. It’s really dry here,” said Scott Morrow.

Boston Fire officials will only say the fires are under investigation and they are not looking for any individual or individuals.

But Rickie Thompson said he’s seen plenty of other dry spells here that haven’t resulted in so many fires. “I’ve been up here all my life, and I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s been drier many times before.”

Whether it’s Mother Nature or something more sinister, Thompson said there needs to be more eyes on the park to make sure it remains the urban oasis that it is.

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