Fire departments from both Lapeer and St. Clair counties have responded to multiple grass fires in recent days.

Imlay City fire chief reports that most start in burn pits

IMLAY CITY — It’s been a busy time for Imlay City firefighters who have been called out to numerous brush and grass fires in Imlay Township and countywide in recent weeks.

Imlay City Fire Chief Rick Horton said his firefighters responded to brush fires in Imlay and Almont townships, Lapeer, Attica and Metatora over the past weekend.

“Our guys were out all day on Saturday and Sunday, responding to these types of fires,” Horton said. “All of the local departments have been very busy.”

Horton attributed the rash of fires to the exceedingly dry conditions, combined with persistent winds.

He instituted a local burn ban over the past weekend, which has since been adopted countywide.

Horton said the frequency of brush and grass fires coincides with warmer weather and people wanting to get outdoors and clean up their yards and properties after winter.

He said local residents are supposed to contact their local authority to acquire burn permits, but some have been side-stepping and/or disregarding that process.

Horton said local and county residents can help eliminate the grass and brush fires by simply following the rules.

“Until we get some rain and green grass starts to grow again, everybody needs to observe the burn bans,” Horton said.

Other departments issued localized burning bans before the countywide edict was declared.

Dryden Township has restricted all open burning since March 13. Any permits already issued are canceled until further notice.

St. Clair County
struggling too

On Monday, Almont firefighters were called to assist Berlin Twp. firefighters fight a field fire on Capac Road between Dryden and Tubspring roads.

According to dispatch logs from the weekend, both the Mussey and Berlin fire departments responded to several incidents both within their jurisdictions and to assist other departments.

Taking precautions

The National Weather Service advises that when there’s elevated fire danger, residents should avoid tossing cigarette butts outdoors, burning leaves or brush, grilling over grassy areas or parking vehicles in tall grass.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.