11 acres of state rec land burn

About 11 acres of woods in the Bass River Recreation Area along the Grand River caught fire and burned this past weekend.
Becky Vargo
May 21, 2013


Reports of wildfires sent firefighters to the state recreation area at noon Saturday and again at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Robinson Township Fire Chief Paul VanVelzen said both fires were discovered by state conservation officers.

Firefighters battled the wildfire for more than two hours Saturday. It consumed dead debris on about 7 acres of the wooded area's floor.

The cause of Saturday's fire is unknown, VanVelzen said.

Robinson Township firefighters were called back to the same area Sunday when wind fanned sparks in some stumps and blew them across a firebreak. That fire was discovered by a conservation officer who had returned to the scene to check for hot spots, VanVelzen said.

“We’re in prime conditions for woods fires,” VanVelzen said. “Anything in the woods, it’s going to go quick. ... Everything is right — the humidity, temperature and a lot of pollen that’s fallen.”

VanVelzen said the cottony-type pollen will spread a fire quickly, and there’s a lot of it out there.

The chief said they had created a trench on Saturday to stop the wild fire from spreading.

“One trench was so full of pollen, it looked like we foamed it,” he said.

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


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