Hunting Camp in Michigan Evacuated by Wildfire

Hunting Camp in Michigan Evacuated by Wildfire Outdoor Life

13 evacuated from Michigan hunting camp as wildfire burns thousands of acres

A wildfire in Michigan has prompted the evacuation of 13 individuals from a local hunting camp. The fire, reported on Friday, has burned approximately 2,200 acres as of Monday morning. Turkey season in Michigan runs until May 31.

Officials estimate the Blue Lakes Fire started last Wednesday due to a lightning strike from recent storms. The fire is currently 75% contained, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The wildfire is burning in two counties in Michigan’s lower peninsula—Cheboygan and Montmorency counties.

“We are grateful to report no life-threatening injuries or serious property damage, as everyone on the scene is giving their best effort to suppress this fire,” said DNR public information officer Kerry Heckman.

Thirteen individuals were evacuated from a hunting and fishing camp at Black River Ranch, northeast of the fire lines. In addition, fire officials evacuated a local private ranch, kayaking camp, and protected several structures in the region.

Hunting Camp in Michigan Evacuated by Wildfire Outdoor Life

The fire was initially reported at 2,700 acres on Sunday and 60% contained. However, favorable conditions and improved technology helped officials estimate its size on Monday, downgrading it to 2,200 acres at 75% containment.

“Containment doesn’t mean the fire is out, but it is unlikely to spread beyond containment lines,” Heckman stated. “There may still be hot spots within the contained area.”

One firefighter sustained a minor injury related to the fire. No other injuries or concerns have been reported. About 32 firefighters are working with local law enforcement teams to contain the burn, according to the DNR.

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Northern Michigan is known for its sprawling hardwood forests, which include maple, beech, and mixed oak species. The lower peninsula accounts for about 37% of forested land in the state and is home to a large portion of the state’s wilderness.

The lower peninsula also houses various big game, including elk, which have recently seen a 5% increase over the past three years. The Blue Lakes Fire joins other fires of concern across the country, including several in the Southwest United States, like New Mexico and Arizona.

Wildfire occurrences continue to increase nationwide, and with high levels of drought affecting many states, officials are preparing for a potentially long and challenging wildfire season.