Oak Bluffs firefighters were called to the scene of a stubborn brush fire three times Monday, before the fire was finally declared out at around 8 p.m.

West Tisbury fire department brought in its brushbreaker to the scene. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Firefighters were first called to the scene, a pitch pine wooded area near the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Oak Bluffs, at 6:34 a.m. Monday. The fire was declared out by 8 a.m., but by noon smoldering embers had flared up and firefighters returned to the scene, after neighbor had called in with a report of  smoke. Later in the day firefighters returned for a third, and what fire officials hoped was the final, time.

Early in the day the fire shut down traffic on Vineyard avenue for nearly two hours and prompted warnings from firefighters about the extreme risk of fire during the current drought.

Interim Oak Bluffs fire chief Martin Greene said no one was injured and there was no damage to any surrounding private property.

When firefighters first responded to the scene near the intersection of Norris avenue and Vineyard avenue, the fire had been ablaze in the woods for some time, Chief Greene told the Gazette by phone.

With a high proportion of dense brush and dry mulch in the area and the recent prolonged bout of dry weather, the fire spread rapidly, burning an acre and a quarter of land around the cemetery, he said.

Oak Bluffs fire and EMS responded along with mutual aid from Tisbury and West Tisbury, including the West Tisbury brush breaker.

About an acre and a quarter of pitch pine woodland behind Sacred Heart Cemetery burned. — Mark Alan Lovewell

The fire was out by 8 a.m., but four hours later firefighters were called back to the scene after some smoldering embers that were buried in the soil flared up again.

Chief Greene said flareups are not uncommon with brush fires.

“Sometimes a fire burns down to the roots so we went back and chased a bunch of smoke . . . wetting down [hot spots] and making sure that they were cool,” he said.

Firefighters stayed at the scene for another two hours Monday afternoon, dousing hot spots where remnants of the fire were still smoldering below-ground.

The deputy fire chief returned to the site once again just after 4:30 p.m. to ensure all smoke had dissipated and the fire was fully extinguished, Chief Greene said. As of 5 p.m., no further flareups had been reported.

Then at 5:30 p.m., the deputy chief returned to the scene to verify that the embers were fully extinguished, but discovered another series of flareups, Chief Greene reported.

Firefighters stayed at the scene for an hour to douse the hot spots. As of 8 p.m. Monday evening, no further flareups were reported.

Brush fire tested firefighters all day Tuesday. Extreme drought has prompted warnings of fire risk from state and local officials. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Chief Greene said the site would be checked again early Tuesday, and that the Massachusetts Division of Conservation and Recreation will also send officers to the fire area Tuesday to monitor the site. Additional DCR staff will also be available on-Island throughout the day, for relief if needed.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown, said Chief Greene. Police officers discovered a small campsite near the cemetery, he said.

The current dry conditions make brush fires especially difficult to extinguish, Chief Greene said. “It’s just very difficult to put out finally because of the dryness,” he said.

Meanwhile, in light of the extreme, dry conditions, Dave Celino, chief fire warden for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, issued a statement to local fire departments warning of elevated fire risks through Wednesday. The statement detailed weather-related fire behavior and urged local officials to prepare accordingly.

The National Weather Service also issued an urgent fire weather warning message for the state of Massachusetts, effective Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The Island has been under a severe drought warning for weeks after a summer with almost no rain.

Tinder-like conditions exist in all the wooded areas, and high fire risk has been declared at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, some 5,000 acres of woodland that occupies the center of Martha’s Vineyard. The state forest currently has no full-time superintendent.

Chief Greene advised anyone making an outdoor fire to exercise extreme caution.

“There’s going to be very dry conditions the next few days so we’re asking people to be very, very careful with outside fires and restrict them if at all possible,” he said. “The lack of rain we’ve had is really an issue.”

Aaron Wilson contributed reporting.