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Wildfire prompts northern Michigan hunting camp evacuation

Posted at 1:43 PM, May 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-14 14:04:31-04

ONAWAY, Mich. (AP & WXYZ Digital Team) — Crews continue fighting a wildfire in a heavily forested area of northern Michigan that prompted the evacuation of 13 people from a hunting and fishing camp.

Officials said the fire was reported mid-day Friday and spread by Saturday morning to about 2,300 acres in Montmorency and Cheboygan counties. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported that the fire is about 30 percent contained as of 11 a.m. on Saturday.

“We are grateful to report no life-threatening injuries and no serious property damage, as everyone on the scene gives their best effort to suppress this fire,” DNR spokesperson Kerry Heckman said in a press release. “Thank you to everyone who has followed reports and steered clear of this area.”

Heckman says one firefighter suffered a minor injury. Those evacuated were from the Black River Ranch near the town of Onaway. Heckman said no residential areas were immediately threatened.

The area was under red flag warnings for wildfire danger earlier in the week because of dry vegetation and high winds, but winds have calmed.

The fire cause, officials say, is believed to be a lightning strike, possibly from a May 11 thunderstorm.