Raging wildfire in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula destroys 97 structures

Raging wildfire in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula destroys 97 structures

29 May 2012

published by http://edition.cnn.com

USA — A wildfire that has raged for days in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has destroyed 97 structures — including a motel, a store and 34 homes.

The Duck Lake Fire has burned more than 22,000 acres and is still going despite recent rains, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported on its website.

The state agency estimated Monday the blaze is about 51% contained, thanks to progress made by firefighters in maintaining a firm perimeter.

Crews have about 40 miles of firelines set up to control the situation, including 6 miles along the shore of Lake Superior.

But a lack of roads in the area has complicated efforts.

The fire’s south end is about 14 miles north of Newberry and 7 miles west of the Yahquamenon Falls State Park campgrounds.

Lightning sparked the wildfire late Wednesday afternoon, leaving firefighters little time to contain it before dark. The flames picked up significantly the next day, fanned by strong winds and high temperatures.

Since then, the wildfire has taken its toll. While noting that the entire affected area has not been surveyed, the state department said at least 97 structures on 39 different properties have been “lost” due to the blaze.

Dry conditions have exacerbated the fire danger throughout the region.

On Friday, Gov. Rick Snyder banned outdoor burning in 49 counties in northern Michigan in hopes of preventing wildfires.

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