Firefighters, DNR respond to 2,300-acre wildfire burning up Northern Michigan

Montmorency, Cheboygan counties are affected by wildfires

Blue Lakes Fire in Montmorency and Cheboygan counties has burned 2,000 acres (Michigan DNR)

Firefighters and Michigan DNR are working to contain a 2,300-acre wildfire burning up Montmorency and Cheboygan county.

According to officials, those helping to contain the fire started on Friday around 9 p.m. A news release states that 43 firefighters and an additional 13 incident management members are assisting in the fire suppression efforts.

Latest update: Wildfire in Northern Michigan spreads over 2,500 acres, officials say

As of Saturday morning, roughly 30% of the fire is contained. Officials say that a lightning strike from a thunderstorm on Wednesday is likely what caused the fire.

“The fire is fueled by a mix of jack pine, mixed pine and grasses, with a very large smoke plume visible from miles away,” says DNR spokesperson Kerry Heckman.

Click here to download the map displaying the fire boundaries.

Tri-Township EMS, Cheboygan EMS, Michigan State Police, the DNR Law Enforcement Division, Montmorency County Emergency Management and the Montmorency County Sheriff are assisting in the fire containment.

DNR firefighters receive morning briefing Saturday before beginning fire suppression efforts. (Michigan DNR)

Air support is also involved with containing the fire.

Officials say that the wildfire, known as the Blue Lakes Fire, has caused 13 people to evacuate.

Related: ‘Extreme’ fire risk prompts Red Flag Warning for Northern Lower Michigan: What it means

“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 following roads are currently closed due to the fires:

  • Blue Lakes Road to East Branch Road.
  • Black River Road to Camp 30 Road.
  • Clark Bridge Road to Black River Road.
  • Blue Lakes Road to Meridian Line Road.
  • The Black River between Blue Lakes Road and Clark Bridge Road also is closed.

According to Michigan DNR, nearly nine out of ten wildfires nationally are human-caused.

On Monday, Northern Michigan was issued a Red Flag Warning for fire risk. The warning was applied to all of Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula. The Red Flag Warning was applied to the area due to the warm temperatures, very low humidities and strong winds expected in the area.

The fire was initially discovered around 1 p.m. on Friday.

Click here to learn more about Michigan’s burning permit.


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About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital Producer and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.