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DNR: Blue Lakes Fire response in final stages

Blue Lakes Fire Final Stages
Posted at 4:11 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 22:19:39-04

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says crews are still identifying and mopping up hot spots Wednesday.

The DNR says the Blue Lakes Fire spread across 2,516 acres.

As of Wednesday, all roads and the Black River have reopened.

A lightning strike started the fire in Montmorency and Cheboygan counties Friday afternoon.

Although it is mostly contained and the area reopened, the DNR asks people to be aware of snags, burned trees that can fall without warning, especially when it’s windy.

The DNR says it’s normal to see smoke, but both people and pets should avoid walking in blackened areas because there could be some lingering hotspots.

They say people should stay on the roads and keep their pets on leashes.

The DNR asks all drivers to slow down and watch for increased wildlife movement because it’s common for wildlife to move from their home areas to avoid flames and look for new homes.

Crews have already seen a variety of wildlife returning to the burned area, including elk, deer, porcupines, turkeys and other birds.

“We’d like to express appreciation for the assistance and support of all the partners and cooperators involved,” said Kerry Heckman, public information officer for the DNR’s Incident Management Team.

The DNR says several crews helped contain and put out the Blue Lakes Fire, including DNR Law Enforcement; USDA Forest Service; Montmorency County Sheriff’s Department and Emergency Management; the Tri-Township, Hillman Area, Lewiston, Vienna, Albert Township, Charlton Township and Onaway fire departments; the Canada Creek Ranch Fire Brigade; Onaway, Hillman Area, Tri-Township and Cheboygan EMS and Michigan State Police.

The DNR also sends its appreciation to the local community for support, including several food and water donations and community members’ willingness to respect road closures, put safety first and give crews the space they needed to contain the fire effectively.

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