Macatawa Park is a beautiful area, but part of what makes it beautiful, also creates a potential disaster.  The hills and dunes are thick with beach grass, underbrush and forest debris, and this time of year especially it creates a tinderbox waiting to catch fire!  Beach grass is wonderful, but at its base it is very dry and a stray spark from a firecracker, grill or outdoor fire, tossed match, or cigarette can cause beach grass to ignite immediately and combined with the winds off the lake, can cause a fire to spread across the dunes and woods instantly.  That is why fireworks and camp fires are prohibited in all of Macatawa Park.  The fire chiefs from Park and Laketown Townships have given us some tips to increase fire safety within our park.  A few of those follow:

 

Put street numbers on your cottage to assist emergency personnel in locating your place.

Remove all yard waste, limbs and junk (especially combustible items) from areas around your cottage.

Never leave a barbeque grill untended while in use and safely store any propane tanks away from fire danger.

Check the Michigan State University website for their suggestions for fire-wise landscaping for lakeshore cottages/homes.

Install a monitored fire alarm system and outside flashing (strobe) lighting activated by the alarm to help fire crews find your cottage quickly.

Install a monitored sprinkling system.

Always have a hose connected to an outside faucet of your home so it is available in a fire emergency.

Install a Rapid Entry Key Box so emergency personnel have a key available to enter your cottage without having to break down doors and windows.

Keep all roadways clear of debris, downed tree limbs and parked vehicles so emergency vehicles have clear access, especially in the hills.

If you have questions on what else you can do to protect your cottage and Macatawa Park, the fire departments in Park and Laketown Townships are more than happy to help you.

We have had disasterous fires in Macatawa Park before, let us do all we can to not have that happen again!