Farmer in jeopardy of losing his corn crops as muck fire rages underground

GRANGER, Ind. -- Four fire departments are on the scene of a muck fire near Cleveland and Currant Roads.

Clay Fire, South Bend Fire, Penn Township, and Edwardsburg all responded to the call after it went out around 4:45 p.m.

The farmer who leases the 1,200 acres is in jeopardy of losing his entire corn crop.

A piece of farming equipment used in planting and seeding the field sparked the fire.

Firefighters have already found about 15 to 20 spot fires from the scorched ground and smoking soil. They are working to keep the fire away from a treeline and the roads.

Right now, no roads are closed and the fire is contained to the field.

Muck fires are different because they burn underground and can last for days. They are typically found in swampy areas. The peat moss and fertilizer in the top 6 to 8-inches of soil created the perfect tinder for this fire to spread.

Firefighters are using pick-up trucks to carry water across the field to extinguish the smoldering earth. Each smaller truck can carry about 200 gallons of water.

The big rigs carry 1,200 gallons each, but cannot go out onto the field. Because of their weight, they can sink in the dirt and get stuck. Then if there was a nearby structure fire where lives were in danger, they would not be able to get it out and respond in time.


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