NEWBERRY (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says cooler temperatures have allowed crews to “make significant progress” in their battle against a wildfire that has consumed 21,500 acres in the Upper Peninsula.
The DNR announced Friday morning the nearly 34-square-mile fire in Luce County’s Duck Lake area was 63 percent contained. The Mining Journal of Marquette reports, however, that the DNR says it could smolder through the summer and take weeks to fully contain.
The DNR says the blaze, known as the Duck Lake Fire, began with a lightning strike last week. Officials say the number of buildings destroyed by the fire has risen to 132 from 115 a day earlier.
On Thursday, Gov. Rick Snyder and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow each surveyed areas damaged by fire. Mlive.com reported that Snyder praised the efforts of firefighters but acknowledged some residents’ concerns about the need for earlier notification.
Stabenow says she’s pushing for federal aid.
A separate wildfire in the Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Schoolcraft County burned more than five square miles.
The DNR strongly encourages all residents and visitors in all parts of the state to avoid open burning and use of any fireworks during this extremely high fire-danger season to minimize the possibility of more wildfires.
For wildfire prevention tips, and for information on what is and is not permissible under the outdoor burning ban, visit www.michigan.gov/preventwildfires.
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