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

Crews use drone to locate hot spots within containment lines

Blue Lakes Fire (Blue Lakes Fire)

The Blue Lakes Fire in the northern portion of Michigan’s lower peninsula is now 75% contained, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

It’s estimated to be about 2,200 acres. Some roads that were closed in the fire area have been reopened. Firefighters have been working since Friday (May 13) to contain the fire.

Update: Blue Lakes Fire in Northern Michigan is 98% contained, DNR says

The fire is believed to have started Wednesday (May 11) with a lightning strike that smoldered for a few days before spreading into dry fuels and creating the wildfire. It was first reported at 12:40 p.m. Friday.

A containment doesn’t mean the fire is out, but officials do not believe it will spread beyond the containment lines. Firefighters have plowed a line through the earth around that portion of fire.

“There may still be hot spots within the contained area,” Kerry Heckman, DNR fire public information officer, said.

The uncontained portion of the fire is in low, wet areas that are difficult for firefighters to reach. Crews are working on Monday to connect gaps in the containment line.

“We will be using a drone to do some infrared imaging to identify hot spots within the containment line that need attention,” Heckman said.

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

Fire equipment: A firefighter operates a tractor plow, creating a containment line by plowing down to bare soil. (DNR)

Road and river closures

Blue Lakes Road between Hardwood Lake Road and Black River Road is still closed.

The Black River is still closed between Blue Lakes Road and Clark Bridge Road until hot spots in the area can be addressed.

There were 32 DNR firefighters and two emergency medical technicians and a 13-member incident management team on scene on Monday. Two Montmorency County Sheriff’s deputies and three DNR conservation officers are also assisting. Local assistance is provided by Tri-Township EMS, Montmorency County Emergency Management and the Michigan State Police.

Equipment in use includes five engines, two tractor plows, five utility terrain vehicles and one DNR spotter plane.

Read: Ready to start roasting marshmallows? Keep these fire safety tips in mind before you light a bonfire

Map showing updated fire coverage and road closures below:

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Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.