HOLTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — With the fire risk high in much of West Michigan on Sunday, firefighters in Muskegon County were called to battle two large brush fires.
NEAR TWIN LAKE
The first fire started just before 2:30 p.m. in the area of West Lake Road and Lakewood Drive, north of the community of Twin Lake.
A man told 24 Hour News 8 that exhaust from his quad hit leaves he was pulling in a trailer, sparking the fire.
The fire soon spread to cover about three or four acres, the man said. It was out within two hours.
The man said he was treated for smoke inhalation, but wasn’t seriously hurt.
NORTH OF MUSKEGON
Just before 3 p.m., a burn of wood and leaves on Benjamin Road south of West River Road in Laketon Township got out of hand.
Fire officials on scene said five acres were affected by the fast-moving fire, but crews had it contained it quickly. Several fire departments assisted.
Hot spots kept flaring out and it took a lot of manual labor to douse the fire, officials said. Still, it was out in a couple of hours.
There was no damage to any property and no one was hurt.
Authorities on the scene initially said the fire in Laketon Township was a legal burn. However, Muskegon Charter Township Fire Department Chief David Glotzbach later said it was not legal because the Michigan Department of Natural Resources had called Sunday a no-burn day due to the high fire risk.
Glotzbach told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone on Sunday evening that the spring often brings a lot of brush fires. He said that even with rain, a thick layer of dead vegetation is dry underneath and burns easily.
Glotzbach also said that residents of Muskegon County and northern counties should check with the DNR’s open burning website, which will show if it’s a no-burn day. You can also call the DNR at 866.922.BURN (2876) to find out if it’s a no-burn day.
He said that even if it’s a good day to burn, you shouldn’t turn your back on the fire.
“Just because the grass is green doesn’t mean the ground is all new growth,” Glotzbach said. “When you get out to wooded areas, there’s a lot of vegetation that is still dead and hasn’t been touched by rain.”
He added that you should use a lot of water to douse all embers when you’re done.