Wildfire in Northern Michigan spreads over 2,710 acres, officials say

Montmorency, Cheboygan counties are affected by wildfires

Blue Lakes Fire (Blue Lakes Fire)

Firefighters and Michigan DNR are working to contain a 2,710-acre wildfire burning up Montmorency and Cheboygan county.

Officials say that, as of Sunday afternoon, about 60% of the fire is contained.

Update: 2,200-acre Blue Lakes Fire in Northern Michigan is 75% contained, DNR says

The fire was initially discovered around 1 p.m. on Friday, May 13. Officials say that a lightning strike from a thunderstorm on May 11 is likely what caused the fire.

Volunteers and firefighters started to help contain the fire at around 9 p.m. on Friday.

“When we first have crews and staff on the ground and pilots in the air trying to assess and understand the fire, we give our best estimates. Now, as we’ve achieved partial containment and have more detailed information coming in from the line, we’re able to provide better estimates and updated maps that reflect that information,” said 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’s Office are assisting in the fire containment.

Wildfire smoke is seen behind emergency equipment and vehicles staged to respond to the Blue Lakes Fire. (Blue Lakes Fire)

Officials say that the wildfire, known as the Blue Lakes Fire, has caused 13 people to evacuate. Those evacuated were from the Black River Ranch near the town of Onaway in the far northern end of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Read more: Wildfire prompts northern Michigan hunting camp evacuation

“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 closed as of May 15 due to the fires, as listed by the Michigan DNR:

  • East Branch Road and Black River Road between 622 and Oxbow Creek Road.
  • Clark Bridge Road between Black River Road and Osmun Road.
  • Blue Lakes Road between Hardwood Lake Road and East Branch Road.
  • Black River Road between Blue Lakes Road and the Meridian Line Road and 622 intersection.
  • The Black River remains closed between Blue Lakes Road and Clark Bridge Road.

You can see a map of the road closures below.

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

On Monday, May 11, Northern Michigan was issued a Red Flag Warning for fire risk. The warning was applied to all of Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula due to warm temperatures, low humidity and strong winds expected in the area.

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

2022 Blue Lakes Fire (Blue Lakes Fire)

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About the Author:

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