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Blue Lakes Fire is now 60% contained

The 2,710-acre Northern Michigan wildfire in Montmorency and Cheboygan counties is now 60% contained by fire crews.
Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Smoke from the Blue Lakes Fire over Silver Lake is visible in a spotter plane image.

CHEBOYGAN COUNTY, Mich. — A wildfire that has engulfed an estimated 2,710 acres in Montmorency and Cheboygan counties is now 60% contained by fire crews.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources fire crews, along with local partners, are working to connect the fire containment line gaps.

On Saturday, the fire was estimated to have been 2,300-acres and was 30% contained. 

On Sunday, fire crews have contained more of the blaze and now estimate the size of the fire to have been an additional 410-acres after a more accurate GPS measurement of the area.

According to Michigan DNR spokesperson, Tim Webb, fire crews were pulled off of the fire lines Saturday night due to lightning risk.

“Although northeast Michigan had widespread rain Saturday afternoon, little fell in the fire area,” Webb said. 

The Blue Lakes wildfire was first detected in Northern Michigan on Friday, May 13 and was later determined to have been started by a lightning strike, likely from a May 11 storm.

“It’s not uncommon for a lightning strike to smolder for several days until surface fuels dry out enough to ignite and allow the fire to spread,” Webb said.

Weather conditions on Sunday have been much more favorable for the fire suppression efforts by crews.

DNR spokesperson Kerry Heckman reported that one department firefighter sustained a minor injury and a group of kayakers on the Black River had to be escorted to safety.

The DNR team fighting the blaze include 43 firefighters, a 13-member incident management team and a spotter plane responding. They are assisted by six U.S. Forest Service firefighters and a hand crew, as well as six local fire departments.

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