Isabella Co. Muck Fire Still Burning

An Isabella County farmer is dealing with an unusual issue after performing a legal burn to clear some of his farmland.

That burn resulted in a peat fire or also called a muck fire.

It’s been burning for a month and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Shepherd Tri-Township Fire Department have been keeping a close eye on it ever since.

“There is a peat fire, it’s considered a fire that’s in the ground, the landowner has started a grass fire to clear some land for more farming and then it got into the peat and now we’re watching the smoke every day,” said DNR Forest Fire Supervisor, Bret Baker.

Muck, the substance burning under the ground’s surface, is made up of organic debris like wood and plant material.

While it’s been burning for more than a month, the DNR says there’s no need to worry.

“I don’t think anyone is in danger right now. It’s contained by ditches and bean fields. It’s relatively small compared to its surroundings but the smoke I suppose can be a nuisance,” said Baker.

A smoky inconvenience for nearby neighbors especially those with respiratory issues.

“We can’t open our windows and get in our cars and smell it’s like trash, burning trash,” said Bethany Beebe who lives nearby.

But there’s still no timeline on when the fire will be put out.

“They’re telling us it could be a long time for this to go out and it’s just frustrating because we can’t open our windows,” said Beebe.

The DNR hopes the rain will help stop the fire.