September 21, 2019

No injuries in 70-acre wildfire

One of three wildfires to occur over the weekend


OGEMAW COUNTY — No one was injured in a wildfire that burned more than 70 acres in Horton Township Saturday, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Lee Osterland, a fire management specialist with the DNR said around 70 acres were burned in the fire, which began around 1 p.m. Saturday, April 14, and lasted until around 4 p.m. The fire occurred near Cabin Lake Road and Peach Lake Road.

Fire crews from the DNR offices in West Branch, Roscommon, Standish and Gladwin offices assisted during the blaze, as well as the Ogemaw and Mills Township fire departments.

Osterland said there were a couple of houses along Cabin Lake Road that had to be evacuated as the fire approached, but there were no injuries.

It was the third wildfire in Ogemaw County over the weekend, and the second in that area. Osterland said one to two acres were burned in the same area Friday evening. Osterland

Fire crews also battled a one-acre wildfire in northern Ogemaw Township Friday along Saint Helen Trail near Dow Road.

Osterland said DNR units from the West Branch office battled the fire, along with assistance from the Clear Lake and Ogemaw fire departments.

That fire began around 4 p.m. Friday, and was under control within about 45 minutes. It occurred in a remote area where there are no homes. There were no injuries in the fire.

Osterland said all three fires are under investigation, and when asked whether any were suspicious he said he could not elaborate any further until the investigations were completed.

He said statewide there have been 10 times more wildfires in the last year versus the year before and 12 times the number of acres burned.

“That gives you an indication of the situation in Michigan, with the lack of snowfall and rain,” Osterland said.

He said people need to be careful when they are out in the woods and follow burning permit restrictions to help reduce the risk of wildfires.

And while the area has seen a little bit of rainfall since Saturday, Osterland said the risk is still there.

“It doesn’t take long for it to dry up with the wind,” he said.



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