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Adams Forest Warden Johnnie Harris Jr. holds a fawn firefighters saved Monday while containing the fire on Pine Cobble. The fawn was taken to a wildlife rehabilitator.

Firefighters Save Fawn From East Mountain Wildland Fire

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Firefighter Frank Levesque carries the fawn he found between some rocks on Monday.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It was a bleating sound that attracted Savoy firefighter Frank Levesque's attention on Monday as the crew he was with worked to contain the state's largest wildland fire in two decades.
 
The sounds were coming from a fawn in distress and the firefighters were able to quickly get the baby into the hands of a wildlife rehabilitator.
 
"We were just taking a break around noontime, and we were waiting for some of the four-wheelers, to bring water and food up and we like started hearing this noise out, out in the woods," Levesque said on Tuesday, adding that he and his wife keep some farm animals and it sounded like a goat. "And then I realized it was a baby deer bleating."
 
Levesque and his fellow Savoy firefighters were working in a hand crew with Clarksburg, Hinsdale, Florida and the Adams Fire Wardens. They were working the Pine Cobble side, what he described as a rough and rocky terrain. A volunteer firefighter for three years, Levesque said Monday was his first — and only — day working the East Mountain fire.
 
"Me and a couple others started walking out to try to find it and we found it was between a couple of rocks, and was severely dehydrated," he said. "You can tell by the skin tension and its ears were flopped back. So we had this off-road vehicle to bring me down the mountain to get it to a rehabilitator."
 
Levesque was sure the fawn had been abandoned for a least a couple of days because of its condition and its cries. Deer will often leave their fawns hidden away for hours at a time but the mother may have been spooked by the fire or the more than 100 firefighters out in the woods with equipment and helicopters. 
 
The fire that started Friday night off Henderson Road in Williamstown spread over East Mountain and into Clarksburg State Forest, consuming 947 acres of brush and ground cover before it was contained late Monday night. Despite the coverage, the blaze was not particularly fast moving and swept under and around trees and rocky areas. The fawn wasn't burnt but the smoke and heat from the fire likely affected it.
 
"It was out there for at least a good day or two without the mother," Levesque said. "When the rehabilitator got it, she said that she was severely dehydrated and wouldn't have been able to make it too much longer."
 
He didn't want to name the rehabilitator but said he has been in contact with her to check on the fawn, who appears to be doing well. 
 
Wildlife rehabilitators frequently caution not to pick up or remove wild baby animals because their parents are usually close by, nor should you feed them or give them water because it may exacerbate their condition. The best bet is to call a licensed rehabilitator if the animal is obviously in distress. 
 
In the case of the fawn the firefighters found, it was obviously in distress and they knew they had to get it to someone who could take care of it.
 
"A fawn that young, it can't just drink water, that actually will further dehydrate them," Levesque said. "They have to get milk from their mother or some sort of substitute."

Tags: deer,   forest fire,   wildlife,   

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NAPL: Understanding Artificial Intelligence Presentation

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — On Wednesday, April 24, at 6:00 PM, the North Adams Public Library will host a presentation titled "Understanding Artificial Intelligence." 
 
The event aims to explore various facets of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, catering to those fascinated, anxious, or simply curious about these technologies.
 
Williams College professors Mark Hopkins and Rohit Bhattacharya will lead the seminar, delving into topics such as the differences in reasoning between humans and AI, the evolving human-computer relationship as AI advances, language acquisition by computers, and potential challenges as AI becomes more prevalent.
 
The seminar will take place in the 3rd-floor community room of the library. No registration is required.
 
The North Adams Public Library is located at 74 Church Street, North Adams, MA, 01247. 
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