Police seek suspects in Forsyth Township wildfire

GWINN — Forsyth Township Police responded to a wildfire at the end of Marshall Drive and County Road EL around 12:35 p.m. Monday.

When officers arrived, they discovered that two locations, which were several hundred feet apart, were on fire, with the fire spreading rapidly.

An man riding an ATV down Marshall Drive had observed a silver sedan with two young male occupants rapidly leaving the scene of the fire between 12:15 and 12:35 p.m., officials said.

When the man riding the ATV saw the fire, it was “about the size of a car,” officials noted. The person riding the ATV attempted to extinguish the fire but was unable to and called 911, according to officials.

The fire spread rapidly due to wind and dry conditions, authorities said, noting Forsyth Township Fire Department and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources responded to the scene and were able to control the blaze after it had burned about 3 acres of land.

Law enforcement is continuing to search for the suspect vehicle and has initiated a joint investigation into the fires involving Forsyth Township Police Department, DNR Law Enforcement, Michigan State Police and the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials said the Forsyth Township police and the DNR have responded to approximately eight fires in the area within the last two to three weeks.

Forsyth Township Police Chief Gordon Warchock said police believe the fires are being set, as responders have observed “double sets” in which there are separate fires very close together. He also noted dry conditions are contributing to the “ease of the perpetrator”, as it’s a “very dangerous time of year for fire.”

The Forsyth Township Police Department encourages anyone with information regarding these fires to contact the Forsyth Township Police Department at 906-346-9224.