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Quick call on dune fire keeps blaze from spreading farther

Becky Vargo • Nov 28, 2017 at 6:23 PM

PORT SHELDON TWP. — A sudden gust of wind caused a controlled burn to get out of control despite the homeowner doing everything right, said Port Sheldon Township Fire Chief Kevin McNutt.

Firefighters from the Port Sheldon Township and Grand Haven Township departments responded to the dune fire along Lake Michigan at 17370 Wood Drift Drive at about 1:45 p.m. Monday.

On arrival, firefighters found a 200-by-100-foot area burning. They had the fire out within 10 minutes.

McNutt said it was the homeowner’s quick call for help that kept the fire to a manageable size.

The homeowner was burning some cleared wood on the beach and did have a burning permit, McNutt said. He also had a proper fire pit surrounded by sand, and had waited for two weeks until the wind calmed enough to have a fire.

Unfortunately, a gust of wind blew some embers into the beach grass, which sparked the wild fire.

Firefighters were on the scene for about an hour.

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