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DNR reports Duck Lake Fire at 72 percent containment, fire crews aided by rain
June 3, 2012
Nearly an inch of rain fell Saturday in the eastern Upper Peninsula, leading to improved conditions at the Duck Lake Fire in Luce County. The Department of Natural Resources today reported the fire is now 72 percent contained, at 21,135 acres.
The south end of the fire is 14 miles north of Newberry and 7 miles west of Tahquamenon Falls State Park campgrounds. The lighting-strike caused fire, which was first detected on Thursday, May 24, is long and narrow and stretches 11 miles north to the Lake Superior shoreline.
There are currently 44 miles of fireline, including 6 miles of Lake Superior shoreline, 15 miles of uncontained fireline and 23 miles of completed fireline (which partly includes County Road 500). Access remains very difficult for fire suppression crews, with few roads leading into the fire area.
Fireline supervisors worked on Saturday to identify access points and plan for the completion of the remaining uncontained sections of fire line. Fire crews continued to monitor the lightning fire south of Bodi Lake, and saw crews made significant progress removing hazard trees.
Property damage assessments have been completed at this time. There are 141 properties within the perimeter of the fire, and a total of 136 structures lost, with a breakdown as follows:
The evacuation order was lifted at 9 a.m. Saturday morning for people with residences in the Pike Lake, Bodi Lake, Culhane Lake and Little Lake Harbor areas. Access to these areas is available from 9 a.m to 9 p.m. Residents entering the opened area are asked to drive with headlights on, and to give emergency vehicles the right-of-way. Residents are required to drive to and from their property only, and may not otherwise travel around the fire area. Snags and hazard trees remain in the area and can fall unexpectedly.
Road closures include County Road 414 east from the intersection with County Road 410 and County Road 500 from M-123 north to Little Lake Harbor, for everyone except residents with property in the reopened parts of the fire area. The fire area remains closed to the general public. While Crisp Point Lighthouse is outside of the fire area, it remains inaccessible due to the closure of County Road 500.
Road access to the mouth of the Two Hearted River remains closed. The Two Hearted River from the Reed and Green Campground and bridge to the mouth at Lake Superior should be avoided; the road closure prevents canoe/boat retrieval at the mouth. Additionally, the Two Hearted ORV Trail is closed east of County Road 414, due to safety concerns from falling snags and extensive trail erosion.
A special note about area tourism and businesses: The DNR reminds the public that the Tahquamenon Falls/Paradise Area is open for business. As crews make good progress on the Duck Lake Fire in Luce County, campgrounds, state parks, resorts and other businesses throughout the region and the Upper Peninsula are open and eager to welcome tourists. The community of Paradise is ready for visitors. Tahquamenon Falls State Park was completely untouched by the fire; its Upper Falls viewing area and Lower Falls campground and visitor center are open.
The Duck Lake Fire is in a remote area, is not currently putting up a smoke plume, is not affecting the surrounding areas and has not seen significant activity since Monday, May 28. While visitors are asked to avoid the immediate fire area, the rest of the U.P. stands ready to offer up Pure Michigan vacation memories.
Today's Duck Lake Fire incident objectives are to:
Today's fire suppression efforts will include using bulldozers and handcrews to finish line construction and link up remaining breaks between divisions; mopping up hotspots 100 to 200 feet inside the fireline; and continuing to remove hazard trees and snags near roads and residences.
Nearly an inch of rain fell on the fire Saturday, with the next chance of showers coming on Wednesday. Today will start out mostly cloudy, becoming mostly sunny over the course of the day. Temperatures are expected to peak around 60 degrees inland, and 46 degrees near the lakeshore. Humidity will remain high today, in the 60 to 70 percent range. Winds will remain steady at 8 to 10 miles per hour from the northwest, with gusts of 15 to 20 miles per hour.
A total of 222 personnel (of which 50 are overhead personnel) are involved with fire suppression efforts. People, equipment and agencies fighting the fire include
Cooperating agencies include the Michigan State Police, Luce County Sherriff's Department, Red Cross, Michigan State Police Emergency Management, Luce County Emergency Management, Michigan National Guard, Wisconsin DNR, Minnesota DNR, American Red Cross, Salvation Army and UPCAP (211).
On May 25, Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of disaster in Luce and Schoolcraft counties. The declaration permits authorities to evacuate residents, and establishes a fireworks ban in the two affected counties and an outdoor burning ban in 49 counties:
Alcona, Alger, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Baraga, Bay, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Clare, Crawford, Delta, Dickinson, Emmet, Gladwin, Gogebic, Grand Traverse, Houghton, Iosco, Iron, Isabella, Kalkaska, Keweenaw, Lake, Leelanau, Luce, Mackinac, Manistee, Marquette, Mason, Mecosta, Menominee, Midland, Missaukee, Montmorency, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ogemaw, Ontonagon, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon, Schoolcraft and Wexford.
The DNR strongly encourages all residents and visitors in all parts of the state to avoid open burning and use of any fireworks during this extremely high fire-danger season to minimize the possibility of more wildfires. For wildfire prevention tips, and for information on what is and is not permissible under the outdoor burning ban, visit www.michigan.gov/preventwildfires.
For more information on the Duck Lake Fire situation, visit www.michigan.gov/dnr (where you can sign up for wildfire incident updates via email or text message) or follow www.twitter.com/michiganDNR, www.twitter.com/michiganDNR_UP or www.facebook.com/miDNR.
A map showing the contours of the Duck Lake Fire as of 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, is available below.
> DNR,Duck Lake Fire (Luce County) Boundary Map, June 2, 2012, 8 p.m. - 391740 bytes
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