DNR: Grayling wildfire more than 90% contained

WHOA! Check out this view from the MSP Aviation Unit helicopter while fighting the wildfire in Crawford County!
Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 12:27 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 5, 2023 at 2:15 PM EDT
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GRAYLING, Mich. (WNEM) - Michigan Department of Natural Resources fire crews are continuing to battle a 2,400-acre wildfire southeast of Grayling.

The DNR said the wildfire started Saturday, June 3 in the later afternoon.

RELATED: DNR: Fire crews battling wildfire near Grayling

Fire crews from the DNR and partner agencies worked through the weekend battling the Wilderness Trail Fire. As of Monday afternoon, the fire was more than 90 percent contained, the DNR said.

Officials believe the fire started around 1 p.m. Saturday near Staley Lake in Grayling Township from a campfire on private property.

The DNR estimates the fire threatened 35 homes, 38 vehicles including 23 campers and three boats, and 58 outbuildings, three of which were lost.

Ten firefighters from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources arrived Sunday to help crews already working. They brought three Type 4 engines with tractor plows and two Type 6 engines to assist with fighting the fire.

“The crews were working in hilly, sandy terrain and that was difficult,” said Mike Janisse, incident commander of the Michigan DNR Incident Management Team supporting the fire. “Weather conditions also were hot, dry, and windy.”

The DNR said fire danger is very high to extreme in most parts of Michigan and is expected to continue with the current hot, dry weather conditions.

“One of the most important things people can do now is to refrain from burning until we get significant rain,” Janisse said.

Residents who were evacuated from their homes were able to return home late Saturday, the DNR said.

Several local roads still remain closed. I-75 is still heavy with smoke and drivers are asked to drive with caution.

A temporary flight restriction still remains in place for a 5-mile perimeter around the fire.

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