Wildfire fueled by strong winds.

May 3, 2021

– Contributed photo

Wildfire fueled by strong winds.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART TOWNSHIP — A massive wildfire Saturday afternoon, May 1, near Polk Road by the Hart substation burned 50 or more acres, according to Hart Fire Chief Dwight Fuehring.

No one was injured, and no structures were damaged in the blaze, said Fuehring.

“We suspect there was a total of 50-plus acres that burned. We suspect it started from a downed power line. The power line fell in the swamp and started the fire south of Polk Road.” A tree caught on fire which then sparked several cattails.

“A south wind fueled it really good,” he said.

Great Lakes Energy and ITC power company lost power lines and poles due to the fire. 

Assisting the Hart Area Fire Department were firefighters from Walkerville, Ferry Township, Pentwater and Shelby-Benona, said the chief. The Department of Natural Resources had six personnel on scene, using bulldozers and a skidder to knock down the fire. Life EMS was standby in case of an injury. The US Forest Service was called in with Airboss planes to dip water out of Hart Lake. A power line across the lake prevented the planes from accessing Hart Lake, so the planes went to Pentwater Lake to get water. The planes carry 700 gallons of water each. The forest service had to leave the scene to attack another fire in Muskegon County, Fuehring said.

The Oceana County Sheriff’s Office and the Hart Police Department also assisted.

Food was brought in for the emergency crews from Hansen Foods and the Chicken Shack. 

“There was good collaboration between everybody,” said the chief.

The fire was called in at approximately 2 p.m., and firefighters cleared the scene around 9:30 p.m. DNR staff returned to the scene Sunday morning to put out “hot spots.”

While they were battling the wildfire, the Hart department was dispatched to two other downed line calls, which were handled by Pentwater Fire Department.

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