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Grass fire torches eight acres in Alcona County

News Photo by Julie Riddle Firefighters look for hot spots after extinguishing a grass fire near Black River Road in Alcona County on Friday afternoon.

ALCONA COUNTY — Firefighters contained a grass fire that burned about eight acres of tall grasses and brush and threatened a home in Alcona County on Friday.

Nobody was injured in the fire.

Firefighters on scene would not cite a cause of the fire on Fontaine Road near East Black River Road, but they noted that most grass fires during Michigan’s spring fire season start as a result of debris burns.

A pile of blackened household items and other debris gave off smoke near a house near which firefighters said the blaze started.

While firefighters from Alcona Township and Sanborn Township fire departments watched for fire around buildings, Michigan Department of Natural Resources fire officers dug furrows around the 10- to 15-foot flames with a tractor plow.

A furrow — “or, this case, a moat,” said DNR fire officer Roger MacNeill of the Grayling Management Unit, who led the fire response on the low-lying, water-logged property — both slows a fire’s progress and creates wind eddies that carry fuel into the trench, where fire can’t progress, MacNeill explained.

DNR fire officers dealt with multiple grass fires around northern Michigan on Friday, including on the west side of the state, MacNeill said.

The DNR declared Friday on its burn permit web page forbade any fires in northern lower Michigan on Friday because low humidity and high winds increased fire danger posed by dry vegetation.

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