LANSING, MI – A dozen Michigan Department of Natural Resources firefighters were working today to mop up an 82-acre fire detected Wednesday northeast of Pickford, near Munuscong Bay in Chippewa County.
DNR crews and volunteer fire departments were on the initial attack of the Munuscong Fire, constructing a containment line around the blaze by late Wednesday night. The fire is located about 7 miles northeast of Pickford.
The DNR had three tractor plows, four engines and about two dozen firefighters on the blaze in that initial attack.
“The fire is burning in a low ground, marshy area, so we’re having some issues with access,” said Keith Murphy, DNR fire management specialist. “Our swamp rats (tracked vehicles) are the only thing that can get right up to the fire.”
Four pieces of DNR firefighting equipment were on the scene today. Volunteer fire departments were no longer working at the fire.
No structures were threatened. No injuries have been reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Meanwhile, a small fire sparked by a lightning strike Wednesday charred about three-quarters of an acre near Naubinway, 5 miles northeast of Rexton, in Mackinac County.
The U.S. Forest Service is battling a fire detected Wednesday by a DNR aircraft northwest of Trout Lake, in the eastern section of the Hiawatha National Forest, in Chippewa County. That fire had burned about 35 acres at last report. The DNR is not involved in suppressing that fire.
Rainfall Thursday in the Upper Peninsula was heavy in some areas, light in others with the eastern end of the peninsula, east of I-75, remains a concern after only very light precipitation overnight.
Sault Ste. Marie, located roughly 20 miles north of the Munuscong Fire in Chippewa County, received .02 inches of rain Thursday, while more than an inch fell south of Munising in Alger County.
“Heading into the holiday weekend, it’s important to remember to be safe with fire and fireworks,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “The basics of fire safety – including making sure all campfires are extinguished – continue to be vital to protecting lives, structures and Michigan’s world-class natural resources.”
So far this year, fires have blackened about 580 acres in the Upper Peninsula and 2,734 acres in the Lower Peninsula. At this same time in 2015, 171 acres had burned in the U.P. and 281 acres downstate.
For information on fireworks use in specific areas, contact local police or fire departments.
Check out more information on fire safety, including a list of tips and information on burn permits.