NEWBERRY (WWJ/AP) – The cost of fighting a roughly 33-square-mile fire in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is expected to rise to at least $3.5 million.
The Department of Natural Resources expects to exceed the $12.5 million budgeted for firefighting this fiscal year, MLive.com reported.
Sharon Schafer, chief of the DNR’s finance and operations division, said when the Duck Lake Fire broke in the UP, there were 50 other fires in the state at that point.
On Wednesday in Lansing, the state House approved a supplemental bill to help the DNR cover the cost of the Duck Lake fire in Luce County.
The DNR reported Wednesday that crews fully contained the fire, about three weeks after a lightning strike started it. Officials say recent GPS data shows the fire stands at 21,069 acres.
The wildfire destroyed 136 structures, including homes, outbuildings and campers. It temporarily closed Tahquamenon Falls State Park. No injuries were reported.
The DNR 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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