Three miles of field fires burn along bypass in Berrien County

A handful of patches of field fires spread for three miles Thursday morning along the U.S. 31 Bypass in Berrien County.

Firefighters say parts of the fire spread from mile marker 11 to Walton road on the south bound lane side of the parkway.

Around 30 volunteers from five area departments were called out.

The grass fire leap-frogged for three miles before coming to an end.

Many firefighters say it’s the longest grass fire they’ve ever seen.

At times tanker trucks were driving the wrong way on the by-pass and dodging oncoming traffic working while trying to get to the hot spots.

“This is probably the most extensive that I’ve seen of fires along the bypass… never been like this before, it could have been something simple like people throwing out a cigarette… but something like this was pretty extensive,” says Niles Township Fire Department Chief Gary Brovold.

“With as dry as it is and the wind blowing… one little amber can pop over here and another patch can go up and work its way up,” explained Eau Claire Township Fire Chief Tom Stiles.

Firefighters say they don’t know what sparked the random fires.

One lane of the by-pass was restricted for at least an hour.


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