October 23, 2018

Prescribed burn spreads to private land


LUZERNE — Fire from a prescribed burn by the U.S. Forest Service spread to 18 acres of private land April 25 near the intersection of Brown Cabin and Mapes Road.

Forest Service District Ranger Brad Bolton said there were no injuries in the fire and no private property was damaged. However, three homes were evacuated near the blaze.

The fire was mostly on the ground, but did catch on some shrubs and small trees, according to Bolton.

He said the prescribed burn was scheduled during a time when the risk of fire was less likely. But when the weather turned clear, the fire was able to spread more easily. The prescribed burn was originally contained to about 660 acres of land.

The Forest Service website states that prescribed burns can help improve tree growth, the habitats for endangered species and can cut down on brush that potentially starts fires. When the Forest Service starts a prescribed burn, weather and conditions are taken into account.

“Burn plans consider temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation, and conditions for the dispersal of smoke,” the Forest Service website states. “Prescribed fire specialists compare conditions on the ground to those outlined in burn plans before deciding whether to burn on a given day.”

Forest Service firefighters from the area were on scene, as well as, Forest Service Firefighters from Nevada. Bolton said when it isn’t fire season in Nevada; firefighters will come up and assist during Michigan’s season.

The Luzerne Fire Department assisted in extinguishing the fire and the Oscoda County Sheriff Department helped with traffic control.

Bolton said the fire started around 3:15 p.m. and stopped its forward progress by 4:30 p.m.

UPDATE: The Fire was cleared by 5:55 p.m., according to Bolton. While initial estimates of the impacted private land was six acres, Bolton later confirmed it is 18 acres.


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