Strong winds spread wildfires

Winds gusting up to 40 mph contributed to the spread of wildfires in Grand Haven and Spring Lake townships Friday afternoon.
Becky Vargo
Nov 19, 2011

Firefighters in both cases were able to stop the wind-fed blazes before they could reach any structures.

Grand Haven Township firefighters were called to Holcomb Hills, off the west end of Comstock Road, about 1 p.m. Friday. Groundskeeper Franklin Glaman said he had placed what he thought were cold ashes from the fireplace of the Howard Reenders home into a compost pile on a hill facing Lake Michigan.

Glaman said he was working on another project in the yard when he noticed the smoke.

“I took a hose and tried to put it out, but it got out of hand until those guys (firefighters) showed up,” he said.

Strong winds off the lake whipped the ashes up a finger of dune between the Reenders home and an older cottage to the south. Firefighters climbed up and down the steep hill with hoses, shovels and axes to combat the fire, which burned an area of about 15-20 yards wide by about 100 yards deep.

Firefighters were on the scene for about an hour.

Spring Lake Township firefighters responded to a call of fire in the woods at 5 p.m. Friday.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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