Grass fire consumes 400 acres


Wednesday’s grass fire at Crofoot and 45th St. NW in Maple Lake Township was no April Fool’s joke.
The blaze, helped along by extremely dry conditions and gusty winds, consumed over 400 acres before being brought under control by the combined forces of the Maple Lake, Buffalo, Annandale and Monticello fire departments. “It wasn’t the first grass fire this year, but it’s one of the largest and worse I’ve seen,” said Maple Lake fire chief Todd Borell. 
Borell was also quick to thank the responding fire departments.
“We needed all their help,” said Borell. “We had structures to protect. The wind just whistled through everything. We couldn’t get in front of it until it got near the woods where the vegetation was more matted down.” 
The rain, when it came, proved too little, too late to aid the firefighters. “The rain was about three hours too late,” said Borell. “We had things pretty well under control by then. Mostly it just made mud.”
Although originally a concern, no evacuations were necessary and no homes or other structures were lost to the blaze, though several were threatened. 
One firefighter was treated and released for smoke inhalation, no other injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.
Chief Borell reminds everyone that no fire permits are being issued at this time, only recreational fires, those three feet in diameter or less, are permitted.
With luck this week’s rainy weather will ease the fire danger situation in our area.