The western half of Battle Creek was evacuated for about five hours Sunday after a grass fire threatened the city.
Scott Lyon with the Battle Creek Fire Department told 10/11 News the fire started about two miles west of Highway 275 and Highway 121 and moved south two miles into town. The initial 911 call came in around 12:45 p.m. and the evacuation call happened around 2 p.m.
High winds and dry conditions helped fuel the fire Sunday afternoon. Lyon said crews would work through the night Sunday and into Monday putting out hot spots where the fire got into trees and putting out flames reignited from the wind.
Firefighters from 11 departments-- including Norfolk, Madison and Tilden -- were helping battle the fire.
Lyon said crop ground, silage and a barn were destroyed in the fire. Flames came close to a house, but firefighters were able to save the home.
He said people were allowed to return to their homes on the western side of town around 7:15 p.m. Sunday night.
Lyon said the blowing dust and dirt, was almost as bad as the smoke from the fire. He added several firefighters were treated for smoke and dirt inhalation.
Joel Bierman lives in Battle Creek and saw the fire from his home. He said, "The whole west bank of creek is on fire was on fire and burned up. The fire department was in the back yard and sprayed the east side of creek down to prevent it from burning. Right now the fire is contained on the back side of my home. but there is still fire trucks working on the blaze."
Lyon said crews are still investigating the cause of the fire.