Crews from all throughout West Michigan responded to an oil well fire in Wayland, Allegan County on Monday afternoon. Authorities report that the fire has since been put out.
Around 3:15 p.m., crews were called to 929 132nd Avenue in Wayland Township, which is close to 10th Street and 132nd Avenue. From miles away, a massive column of black smoke could be seen. It was visible from nearly 8 miles away on the News 8 Gun Lake camera.
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According to Frank Post, the emergency manager for Allegan County, crude oil in a tank had burst into flames. The tank was enclosed in a clay containment area, preventing the blaze from spreading beyond it.
“It looked pretty ugly, I mean there was a big, black plume of smoke, but again it was all really confined in that containment area,” Post said.
Firefighters were successful in extinguishing the fire, which they attribute to a tank. According to Allegan Emergency Management, the fire was caused by petroleum, necessitating the use of foam and smothering agents, as opposed to water to put it out.
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The fire started with no one nearby or hurt. There is no danger or hazard to the general public. Moreover, all the neighboring oil wells were closed off immediately. Dispatchers also reported that 10th Street is now closed to traffic between 129th and 132nd Avenues.
Fire departments in Dorr, Otsego, Leighton, Hopkins, Gun Plain, and Martin helped the Wayland Fire Department, and the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Gun Lake Tribe Police provided assistance with law enforcement. A hazmat crew and other crucial assistance were also dispatched from Grand Rapids Fire Department to the area.
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It is not yet known what started the fire. Nevertheless, according to reports, authorities aren’t currently worried about the safety or environment of adjacent residents because the fire was contained within the protected zone.