GRAYLING, Michigan — The Michigan Department of Nature Resources have determined the cause of a 3,000-acre fire that broke out Saturday to be a campfire.
As of Sunday morning, the fire is 85% contained. First responders worked through the night to battle the flames.
“The crews were working in hilly, sandy terrain and that was difficult,” said Mike Janisse, Incident Commander of the Michigan DNR Incident Management Team supporting the fire. “Weather conditions also were hot, dry and windy.”
Fire risk is very high to extreme in most of the state throughout the weekend.
“One of the most important things people can do now is to refrain from burning until we get significant rain,” Janisse said.
Residents who live near the area were evacuated Saturday, but have since returned to their homes.
The fire began around 1 p.m. near Staley Lake in Grayling Township. It moved southwest through jack pine, mixed pines and oak, the DNR says.
The campfire was on a private property.
Several nearby roads are still closed. I-75 reopened just before midnight on Saturday after closing due to heavy smoke.
Drivers in the area are still asked to proceed with caution. Flights and drones are still restricted in a 5-mile perimeter of the fire at heights below 5,000 feet.
The DNR asked residents to follow these tips to reduce the risk of wildfire:
- Never leave a fire unattended, even for a moment.
- Check first to see if conditions allow for burning at Michigan.gov/BurnPermit.
- Always put fires out completely with water. Drench the coals, stir with a shovel and drench again.
- Don’t park vehicles over dry grass; heat from vehicles can ignite dry grass. Make sure no trailer chains are dragging, which can create sparks, and be careful when using power equipment outside.
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