Dry conditions prompt fire danger warnings

Muskegon County

DALTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — As many headed out Sunday to enjoy warm, dry weather, firefighters warned of an increased fire risk.

Many Michigan counties were under burn bans Sunday.

“We say when it’s a burn ban, we prefer nobody burn at all because all it takes is one ember,” White Lake Township Fire Department Capt. Peter McCarthy said. “When it moves, it moves towards important things.”

That was the case at a home in Twin Lake Sunday, where a fire started during a fish fry on a deck, according to the Dalton Township fire chief. The flames soon spread, engulfing the entire deck, the garage and finally the house.

“The house was already half gone in 10 minutes,” said Dale Kanouff, who saw the flames.

“Just don’t do it. Just do not burn right now,” he added.

Firefighters say in conditions like this, a small fire can become a big problem quickly.

“It doesn’t take long for a small little fire that (you think), ‘I’ve just got to get the hose and put it out.’ You run back to it and next thing you know, now it’s a half an acre. Now you’re calling us,” McCarthy said.

He reminded people to always keep a close eye on a fire.

“It needs to be attended. So if you were to go out with your family and have a small bonfire, have a little cookout, do something like that, as long as you’re there with it” things should be OK, he said.

It’s wise to check in with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources or your local fire department before lighting a bonfire to find out if conditions are safe.

***CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated the Twin Lake fire started in a deep fryer based on initial information from the Dalton Township fire chief. This story has since been updated to reflect his revised statement on the fire’s cause.***

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