CRAWFORD COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS/AP) — The fire that consumed thousands of acres in northern Michigan has been 85% contained, the state’s Department of Natural Resources confirmed Sunday.
The Wilderness Trail Fire east-southeast of Grayling started around 1 p.m. Saturday near Staley Lake.
“The crews were working in hilly, sandy terrain and that was difficult,” said Mike Janisse, Incident Commander of the Michigan DNR Incident Management Team supporting the fire. “Weather conditions also were hot, dry and windy.”
The department said the source of the blaze was a campfire held on private property.
“One of the most important things people can do now is to refrain from burning until we get significant rain,” Janisse said.
Several local roads remain closed.
The fire had burned 2,400 acres, or 3.75 square miles before midnight, natural resources department spokesperson Kathleen Lavey said in an email to The Associated Press.
The Red Cross responded to assist those who were evacuated and a shelter was established at Beaver Creek Township Hall.
The evacuation order issued earlier was suspended late Saturday, Lavey added.
Emergency personnel from the U.S. Forest Service, federal Bureau of Land Management and Michigan police and fire departments continued working with the natural resources department to combat the fire with ground crews, airplanes, helicopters and heavy equipment, the statement said.
I-75 was closed Saturday afternoon due to poor visibility caused by smoke but reopened shortly before midnight.
Grayling Township is about 150 miles north of Lansing.