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Northern Michigan Wildfire Burns 1,500 Acres

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SENEY (WWJ/AP) – An official says a wildfire in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has burned at least 1,500 acres of a wildlife refuge.

Jennifer McDonough of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says Wednesday that crews at Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Schoolcraft County hope to contain the fire to about 2,500 acres.

The fire is believed to have been started Sunday by a lightning strike. It grew Monday and continued to burn on Tuesday. Officials say dry conditions contributed to its spread.

No injuries or damage to buildings was reported.

The refuge plans to evaluate whether to close trails in the area for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

The Daily Press of Escanaba reports a wildfire Tuesday in Alger County damaged about 60 acres. No injuries were reported during that fire.

The Michigan DNR reports that fire departments respond to between 10,000 and 12,000 wildfires in our state. The fires typically burn thousands of acres, and millions of dollars are spent on suppression costs and replacing destroyed property.

DNR officials say burning debris, such as grass, leaves, brush and trash cause the most wildfires. Yard chores, when mixed with dry, warm, windy weather, result in about one-third of all Michigan wildfires each year.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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