More progress in fight to contain northern Michigan wildfire – Detroit News

Posted: May 17, 2022 at 7:59 pm

A northern Michigan wildfire that has raged across more than 2,000 acres since Fridaywas, according to a MichiganDepartment of Natural Resources estimate,75% contained Monday, the agency said.

Some roads that were closed in the Blue Lakes Fire in Montmorency and Cheboygan counties also were reopened, said Kerry Heckman, a DNR spokesperson, in a press release.

The fire had been 60% contained Sunday, a day after crews were pulled off fire lines temporarily in the afternoon due to lightning risk.

Containment doesnt necessarily mean the fire is out, Heckman said, but itis unlikely to spread beyond the containment lines.

These are areas where firefighters have been able to plow a line down to bare eartharound that portion of the fire, removing all fire fuels.

A Wednesday lightning strike that smoldered for a few days before spreading into dry fuels was determined as the cause of the fire, the agency said.

DNR reported an estimated 2,200 acres in the wildfire's path Monday, down from Sunday's estimate of 2,700 acres and Saturday's 2,300.

The differences in reported acreage are due to improved mapping with firefighters on the ground using a variety of tools, according to Heckman.

Some roads will remain closed until nearby hotspots can be identified with infrared imaging and addressed. Those include Blue Lakes Road between Hardwood Lake and Black River. The Black River is also still closed between Blue Lakes and Clark Bridge roads.

Fire danger remains high in northern Michigan. Due to increased fire risk, the DNR has not conducted prescribed burns and has not been issuing burn permits.

Crews on the scene Monday included 32 DNR firefighters, two emergency medical technicians and a 13-member incident management team, according to the press release, with law enforcement assistance from two Montmorency County sheriffs deputies and three DNR conservation officers.

Local assistance wasprovided by Tri-Township EMS, Montmorency County Emergency Management and the Michigan State Police.

halbarghouthi@detroitnews.com

@HaniBarghouthi

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More progress in fight to contain northern Michigan wildfire - Detroit News

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