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Northern Michigan hunting camp evacuated because of wildfire

DNR Spokesperson Kerry Heckman said no additional evacuation were anticipated and no residential areas were immediately threatened.
Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Smoke from the Blue Lakes Fire over Silver Lake is visible in a spotter plane image.

ONAWAY, Mich. — Crews continued fighting a wildfire Saturday in a heavily forested area of northern Michigan that prompted the evacuation of 13 people from a hunting and fishing camp, officials said.

The fire was reported mid-day Friday and spread by Saturday morning to about 2,300 acres in Montmorency and Cheboygan counties, Michigan Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Kerry Heckman said. Officials believe the fire was likely sparked by a lightning strike during a Wednesday thunderstorm.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury, but no other injuries or building damage had yet occurred, Heckman said. Those evacuated were from the Black River Ranch near the town of Onaway in the far northern end of Michigan’s lower peninsula.

Heckman said no additional evacuation were anticipated and no residential areas were immediately threatened. Crews estimated the fire was about 30% contained on Saturday.

The area was under red flag warnings for wildfire danger earlier in the week because of dry vegetation and high winds, but Heckman said no such warning was in place Friday or Saturday as winds were calmer.

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