UPDATE: Northern MI Forest Fire Spreads, Cause Determined
By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter
State and local firefighters from across Northern Michigan spent the weekend battling an immense forest fire in Montmorency County.
The Blue Lakes Fire was reported around 12:40 p.m. Friday, May 13, 2022, northwest of Atlanta, MI near the Pigeon River Country State Forest, home to a thousand of Michigan’s elk.
The blaze had spread to 2,000 acres as of 9 p.m. Friday. As of Sunday, MDNR estimated the fire to be at 2,710 acres but also reports it is 60% contained.
The cause of the fire has been determined to be a lightning strike from a May 11 thunderstorm.
“It’s not uncommon for a lightning strike to smolder for several days until surface fuels dry out enough to ignite and allow the fire to spread,” said Tim Webb, spokesman for MDNR.
Numerous roads are closed in the area for public safety and to accommodate firefighting efforts and protect public safety.