Montcalm Township Fire Department fights grass fire at local farm

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 10:52 am on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Montcalm Township firefighter Brian Christopherson uses a hose to extinguish a smoldering hay bale. — Daily News/Cory Smith

MONTCALM TOWNSHIP — A grass fire at a local farm coincided with the first day of spring Tuesday.

The Montcalm Township Fire Department responded to the fire at 3:50 p.m. at Petersen Farms just east of M-91 between the East Montcalm Cemetery and the Montcalm County 4-H Fairgrounds.

Fire Chief Clif Dickinson said Adam Petersen of Petersen Farms called in the fire.

“When I got there I realized it was bigger than what they had let it on to be,” Dickinson said. “It was going pretty good.”

Adam Petersen declined comment.

Dickinson said the farmers were burning a back field when the wind picked up and the fire went out of control. The blaze ended up burning eight acres of farm land.

Firefighters cleared the scene around 5:45 p.m. after responding to their first grass fire of the year.

Dickinson said Montcalm Township ordinance requires residents to obtain burn permits before burning anything. Dickinson said the hot weather makes burning anything particularly dangerous right now.

“I’m not issuing any burn permits until we get some rain,” he said. “It’s too dry out there.”

Firefighters wore leather boots, long pants, long sleeves and helmets for safety reasons while extinguishing the fire in 80-plus degree weather.

“It makes it kind of miserable,” Dickinson admitted.

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