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2,300-Acre fire in Northern Michigan caused by lightning strike

Lightning is said to have caused the 2,300-acre Blue Lakes Fire in Northern Michigan.
Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources
DNR firefighters receive morning briefing Saturday before beginning fire suppression efforts.

CHEBOYGAN COUNTY, Mich. — The now 2,300-acre fire in Cheboygan and Montmorency counties was first detected in Northern Michigan on Friday, May 13.

The fire was determined to have been started by a lightning strike, likely from a May 11 storm.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) firefighters as well as local partners are continuing efforts to contain the Blue Lakes Fire in Montmorency and Cheboygan counties.

The DNR is reporting that as of Saturday morning, the blaze is roughly 30% contained.

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.

Elsewhere in the fire area, a local ranch has been evacuated, an outbuilding and shed were destroyed, and one private vehicle was damaged.

Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Smoke from the Blue Lakes Fire over Silver Lake is visible in a spotter plane image.

“We are grateful to report no life-threatening injuries and no serious property damage, as everyone on the scene gives their best effort to suppress this fire,” Heckman said. “Thank you to everyone who has followed reports and steered clear of this area.” 

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. 

Also assisting in emergency response are the Tri Township EMS, Cheboygan EMS, Michigan State Police, the DNR Law Enforcement Division, Montmorency County Emergency Management and the Montmorency County Sheriff.

There is still a very high risk for fire in the Lower Peninsula and the DNR has asked to check conditions before conducting any open burning. Check Michigan.gov/BurnPermit to see if it is being allowed in your area and get fire safety tips at Michigan.gov/PreventWildfires.


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