Firefighters battle woods fire along US 31

Becky Vargo • May 17, 2017 at 1:51 PM

SPRING LAKE TWP. — Heavy smoke blew across U.S. 31 north of Grand Haven for a short time after a woods fire was reported on the west side of the road Wednesday afternoon.

Firefighters from the Spring Lake and Ferrysburg departments fought to control the rapidly moving fire fanned by 20-mph winds.

The fire was reported shortly after 12:30 p.m. between Taft and Hickory streets, off the north side of the Supreme Machine parking lot. The wind pushed the fire north and slightly east, with the smoke blanketing nearby U.S. 31.

Smoke also filled the Medallion factory to the north, forcing employees to evacuate for a short time. The building’s garage doors were open because of warm temperatures, allowing the smoke to infiltrate.

Firefighters stopped the fire’s march north shortly after 1 p.m., and they were still on the scene putting out hot spots an hour later.

Robinson Township firefighters also responded to a woods fire at about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday behind a home at 13345 Lincoln St. The first firefighters on the scene reported a small fire with no exposure to any buildings.

“Due to the SSW winds and low humidity, the fire spread quickly,” said Spring Lake Fire Chief Brian Sipe. “Right now the Michigan Department of Resources website is showing this area of Ottawa and Muskegon County to be in the "Very High" fire danger category. Although we received some rain earlier in the week, things like dune grass, leaves and woods are still very dry and considered a fire concern. Residents should take caution if any burning, including recreational fires, are conducted. Residents should check with their local municipality on what can be burned and if burning is even allowed.”

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