Dry conditions cause extreme fire risk in Macomb County

Dry spell is also impacting farmers

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – Local 4 has learned more about the massive wildfire that broke out over the weekend near Grayling that forced evacuations and shut down part of I-75.

The dry conditions are causing trouble for firefighters in rural northern Macomb County.

“We had somebody that had a brush fire that actually led to the barn catching on fire, and this morning we had another small brush fire because of someone who was trying to do some control burning that got out of control,” said Armada Fire Department Chief Chris Krotche.

As crews continue to battle the wildfire near Grayling, many communities across the state are on high alert for the potential for wildfires.

“Eighty percent of our community of the 36 square miles is either agricultural or homes with significant property and acreage,” Krotche said. “So it is a concern for us.”

The department purchased a grass truck in 2018 that is designed to go off-road.

“There is a nozzle on the front, and the person driving the vehicle can control it,” Krotche said. “So as they’re driving through the brush, they can actually spray water.”

The dry spell is also impacting farmers.

“I just talked to one farmer who does organic greens,” said Eastern Market Partnership CEO Dan Carmody. “He has just delayed his planting until there is a good rain. So he’s got a couple of weeks here, and if he doesn’t get a substantial rain in the next couple of weeks, he may have to rethink which crops he is planting.”

About the Authors:

Will Jones rejoined the Local 4 News team in February 2023 as a weekend anchor and reporter. He previously worked as a general assignment reporter for the station from 2012 to 2015.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.