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Blue Lakes Fire now 98% contained by fire crews

The fire blazed across 2,516-acres in Montmorency and Cheboygan counties.

CHEBOYGAN COUNTY, Mich. — The now 2,516-acre Blue Lakes Fire in Montmorency and Cheboygan counties is now 98% contained according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

As of Tuesday, all road closures in the area have been lifted and the stretch of the Black River that was closed has now been reopened.

“If you are in the area, stay on roads,” said Kerry Heckman, DNR fire public information officer. “There may be hot spots or snags, which are trees that can fall over without warning. There may be smoke, and fire crews will still be working in the area.” 

Officials say that seeing smoke inside of the fire area is not necessarily cause for alarm and is to be expected.

Michigan DNR firefighters have been battling the blaze since it was first discovered on Friday, May 13.

On Saturday, the fire was already 30% contained and by Monday, fire crews were able to contain 75% of the blaze.

The wildfire was determined to have been started by a lightning strike from a thunderstorm on Wednesday, May 11. The DNR says that the lightning strike smoldered for several days before igniting nearby fuels like leaves, grass and brush.

Over two dozen DNR firefighters remain on the scene to finish the containment and put out hot spots that need attention inside the fire lines. In addition to the fire crews, sawyers are working to cut down dangerous trees and hand crews are working on fire cleanup. An incident management team, medical technicians and a DNR conservation officer are also on the scene to provide support.

The DNR is still not issuing burn permits in northern Michigan due to a continued increased fire risk. Before conducting an open burn, check Michigan.gov/BurnPermit and get fire safety tips at Michigan.gov/PreventWildfires

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