Numerous fire departments from Porter County fought to contain an 80-acre
brush fire that started on Saturday in the West Beach area near U.S. 12 and
County Line Road between Gary and Portage.
Portage Fire Chief Tom Fieffer said his department received the first call
from the Ogden Dunes area at 2:24 p.m. The fire began spreading into Ogden
Dunes where at least 15 homes were evacuated that afternoon.
Feiffer said the cause of the fire is unknown and that there was no
prescribed burn at the time. The fire, he said, spread for three or four
miles along the Porter/Lake County border. A portion of a fire burned
westward into the Gary area where it was fought by the Indiana Dunes
Lakeshore National Lakeshore Fire Management and various Lake County fire
No injuries or property damage were reported.
Officials were able to contain the fire by 6:30 p.m. Both Portage and Ogden
Dunes fire departments were called back to station about 8 p.m., Fieffer
At its peak, flames from the brush fire shot up to nearly 30 feet catalyzed
by windy conditions, officials said.
“Wind definitely played a factor,” Fieffer told the Tribune on
Fieffer said he was not able to calculate the amount of water used on the
fire but estimated it to be over 100,000 gallons.
Other agencies involved in the effort included Ogden Dunes, Burns Harbor,
Beverly Shores, Liberty Township, Pine Township, South Haven, Boone Grove,
Union Township and U.S. Steel fire departments.
Ogden Dunes Police, Burns Harbor Police, and Porter County Sherriff’s Police
assisted in the evacuations.