Updated: Controlled burn turns into large grass fire
Updated: Friday, April 5 2013, 06:13 PM EDT
SCHOOLCRAFT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Firefighters were out battle flames for several hours Friday afternoon after a brush fire got out of control in Schoolcraft Township.
The flames broke out in the 12000 block of Oakland Drive.
That fire is just one of several that has firefighters sounding the alarm about burning during these dry conditions.
In Schoolcraft Township acres and acres of land burned after the owner lost control of a controlled burn. At times smoke completely took over the area. Several fire departments were on hand working to douse hot spots.
“There’s a creek back there that we’re dealing with,” said Shawn Westfall, South Kalamazoo County Fire. “Also it has jumped the creek on the other side, that’s all swamp area itself and we’re having a hard time trying to contain it.”
The terrain was rough and rugged. Fire engines were unable to get back to many of the areas so firefighters were forced to use Jeeps and drive a distance to fill up with water. Conditions Friday were ideal for flames to spread, wind, low humidity and dry brush as far as the eye can see. It all led to a sense of urgency.
They were concerned about the fire jumping the creek and swampy area to homes that lay in the distance, but firefighters say there was no immediate danger and no one was evacuated. Fire crews were on the scene for a number of hours.
“The wind is kind of whipping around here causing us some issues,” said Westfall. “Obviously the terrain is very bumpy and marshy at this time.”
On Friday there were reports of at least five other brush fires from Kalamazoo to Calhoun to Kent County.
The beginning of April has started off abnormally dry, but it does appear that rain is on the way.