Vehicle sparks Mud Lake blaze

Approximately 35 acres of Mud Lake's shoreline burned on Friday afternoon. The call for a grass fire along I-35 came in at 1:39 p.m. The blaze was under control by around 3 p.m. (Photo by Jennifer Mevissen)

Fire burns shoreline along I-35 and CR-83 in FL

Jennifer Mevissen
Staff Writer

A blaze that burned the shoreline of Mud Lake last Friday afternoon was caused by a blown out catalytic converter.

Initially, Forest Lake Fire Chief Gary Sigfrinius said arson was suspected because three areas were scorched. However, he said upon further investigation by the Department of Natural Resources it was determined to be hot pieces from a motor vehicle’s exhaust system.

“It was visible from the freeway,” Sigfrinius said of the blaze.

The call for a grass fire along I-35 came in at 1:39 p.m. on March 9. Forest Lake Fire and Rescue was first on the scene, followed by the Wyoming Fire Department. The DNR provided ground assistance as well. Approximately 35 acres were burned as black smoke billowed high in the sky west of I-35.

The blaze was under control around 3 p.m.

Sigfrinius said the fire started on the east side of Mud Lake, moving west and to the north before stopping short of the CR-83 overpass (11th Ave. SW). Culver’s of Forest Lake donated about 45 sandwiches to the firefighters, he noted.

Fire Danger

Sigfrinius told the Forest Lake City Council at Monday’s meeting that Monday’s rain will have had little impact when the temperatures increase and the winds pick up. He cautioned of the wildfire dangers through next weekend.

“Those fuels will dry out within hours,” Sigfrinius said.