A Forest Service helicopter spreads water on an out of control fire in Jay yesterday. (Photo by Chief Leclerc)JAY – A backyard fire quickly turned into an emergency situation yesterday when it spread across the lawn of 9 Pine Street; Jay Fire Chief Mike Booker said the fire ended up spreading roughly two acres throughout the residential neighborhood.Resident Karen Bailey was burning a pile of leaves without a permit according to Booker when the fire began to spread out of control.“It just spread really quickly. Fire can move fast across dead leaves and grass,” Booker said.The call came in around 1:40 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14. It took 65 firefighters from 14 departments three hours to get the flames under control. A helicopter from the Maine Forest Service also helped to extinguish the fire.“We’ve had 160 fires so far in 2021, last year we had a little over 100 at this time,” Director of Maine Forest Service Patty Cormier said.Cormier said last summer’s number of fires broke a 20-year record for the state and so far this season is looking to be the same. While Maine’s forest fire situation is drastically different than out west, Cormier said she can’t stress enough that people need to be aware when having a fire.“We didn’t have the snow recharge for the ground water, so we’re about six inches behind from that. It’s a worrying combination of factors,” she said.Roughly 90 percent of forest fires begin by humans or human involvement, Cormier said. With that in mind, she urges people to be smart and safe when having a fire, and to always get a permit from the local fire department.