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DNR: Wildfire 75% contained, drones deployed to find hot spots

DNR photo of a stretch of woods, covered in ash.
DNR photo of a stretch of woods, covered in ash.(Michigan Department of Natural Resources)
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 4:48 PM EDT
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MONTMORENCY CO., Mich. (WNEM) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources fire division said a wildfire affecting 2,000 acres in Cheboygan and Montmorency Counties is now 75 percent contained as of 1:18 p.m. Monday.

A spokesperson from the DNR said that closed roads in the area of the fire have reopened.

DNR firefighters and other agencies have been working ton contain the fire since May 13.

“The fire is fueled by a mix of jack pine, mixed pine and grasses, with a very large smoke plume visible from miles away,” said spokesperson Kerry Heckman.

DNR said the fire was caused by a lightning strike that smoldered for a few days before spreading.

“There may still be hot spots within the contained area,” Heckman said. “We will be using a drone to do some infrared imaging to identify hot spots within the containment line that need attention.”

DNR crews on the scene Monday include 32 DNR firefighters, two emergency medical technicians and a 13-member incident management team, with assistance from two Montmorency County Sheriff’s deputies and three DNR conservation officers.

A firefighter operates a tractor plow, creating a containment line by plowing down to bare soil.
A firefighter operates a tractor plow, creating a containment line by plowing down to bare soil.(Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

Crews are using five engines, two tractor plows, five utility terrain vehicles and one DNR spotter plane.