OAKFIELD TOWNSHIP— A roadside brush fire that burned approximately 300 feet alongside M-57 on Monday afternoon was likely started from a cigarette thrown from a vehicle.
According to Oakfield Township Fire Chief Don Riker, conditions were just right for a lit cigarette to catch fire to dry leaves and timber laying alongside the road, which is what he believes caused the fire that began at about 12:30 p.m.
“My best guess, somebody flipped a cigarette out of their window,” he said. “That’s usually how roadside fires start. With the dry timber underneath and leaves and then the wind on top of that, it doesn’t take much (for the fire to start).”
Riker estimated about 100 yards of grass alongside the north side of M-57, just west of Wabasis Road, burned as far as 75 feet away from the road.
But Riker said thanks to the quick response time of the Oakfield Township and Courtland Township fire departments, the fire was extinguished and contained within 15 minutes of arriving at the scene.
“It wasn’t a fast spread, we had a pretty quick knockdown (of the fire),” he said. “It was a light roll of a fire that was just burning the dry timber underneath. The fire was called in by a passerby and we responded not long after.”
Riker battled the fire alongside Courtland Township Fire Chief Mickey Davis and Courtland Township Fire Captain Galen Green with one brush truck and two engines. No one was injured.
Riker estimated about 1,700 gallons of water was used between the three trucks to extinguish the fire.