Wildfires keep area fire departments busy

Northwest Ottawa County firefighters were kept busy Monday, responding to several "possible wildfire' calls in the late afternoon and evening.
Becky Vargo
Nov 8, 2011

The Ferrysburg Fire Department went to the corner of Elm and Oak streets, where brush near the intersection was reported on fire, at 3:20 p.m. Fire Chief Mike Olthof said someone had apparently thrown out a cigarette and it started the oak leaves on fire. Employees from a nearby business were using shovels to put it out.

“We seldom have calls like this anymore,” Olthof said.

A local ordinance prohibits leaf burning in Ferrysburg.

A discarded cigarette was also the cause of a second alarm that day as Ferrysburg firefighters responded to a possible electrical fire at the Gables Condominiums, off West Spring Lake Road, about 8 p.m.

“We could smell the smoke but couldn’t find the source,” Olthof said. “Then we looked down and saw the smoke coming out of a flower pot.”

Firefighters in Grand Haven, Crockery and Robinson townships also responded to wildfire calls on Monday.

Grand Haven Township Fire Chief Tom Gerencer said his department was sent out at 3:22 p.m. to 11881 Mistral Lane, where they found a small riding lawn mower on fire. The leaf-gathering attachment on the back of the lawn mower caught on fire and started a small section of leaves on fire, he said.

“We sent all the trucks at first because we thought it was heading for the house,” Gerencer said.

The fire was contained to a small area around the lawn mower.

Crockery Township firefighters responded to a grass fire in the ditch in the area of 144th Avenue and State Road at 4:30 p.m.

Robinson Township had a possible wildfire call at 5 p.m. in the area of Fillmore Street and 128th Avenue. They also had a call later in the area of Lincoln Street and 144th Avenue. No further information was available on these fires.

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