Crews battle early season brush fire near Athol

Crews battle early season brush fire near Athol

A brush fire in Athol burned nearly 50 acres after a homeowner was clearing weeds with a propane burner.

Fire crews say the blaze is a sign they could be looking at a wildfire season for the ages.

“We’ve had a couple of propane weed fires in the last week or two. What’s strange to us is we’re getting grass fires this time of year,” said Jim Lion with the Northern Lakes Fire District.

The commander on scene warned the department could be in for a long year.

“I said this, this is crazy. I mean what’s happening, because they had just come back from a fire an hour ago to assist in the same area, and he said in his 21 years, for this time of year, it’s the driest he’s seen,” said Lion.

The department is encouraging people to get prepared now by establishing defensible space around their homes.

“Limb up their trees. Put vegetation around their house which is like fire retardant if you will or fire resistant. So push that out, have some green space around your house so your house can defend itself,” said Lion.

Some agencies are even considering a move normally reserved for the height of Summer.

“Our district, Northern Lake Fire District is considering suspending open burning until we get more moisture,” said Lion.