DNR firefighters continue to suppress 68-acre fire in Marquette County

Contact: John Pepin, 906-250-7260
Agency: Natural Resources

May 19, 2021

A crew of 10 Michigan Department of Natural Resources firefighters is continuing to construct a containment line around a fire that ignited Tuesday afternoon in a remote area of Marquette County, near the south end of Goose Lake in Richmond Township.

The crew is working with hand tools in a rocky area inaccessible to larger equipment, with the fire reported today as 75% contained.

The area burning is situated south of Marquette County Road 480 and north of County Road NC, which leads to the DNR's boating access site on Goose Lake.

"We don't anticipate any problems with the fire at this point," said Pete Glover, the DNR's incident commander on the fire. "We will continue to be out here monitoring the fire over the next few days."

The so-called "gravel pit fire" was fought initially Tuesday afternoon by more than 30 firefighters from the DNR, the Sands Township Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service, which had a crew from Oregon on fire stand-by in the region.

"What helped us tremendously was the aircraft to keeping this fire as small as it is," Glover said.

The Forest Service provided a Type 3 helicopter, which dipped water from Goose Lake to fight the fire, an air attack platform to assist the air operations and two single-engine air tankers, which got water for the firefighting effort from Lake Superior at Marquette's Lower Harbor.

"The great cooperation of agencies fighting the fire was on display to see for a good number of people in Marquette who watched as the aircraft took water from the Lower Harbor," Glover said.

The DNR had aircraft overhead, two bulldozers, a skidder and seven large engines at the scene, with Sands Township providing three fire engines and an ambulance on stand-by.

Rain showers and higher relative humidity readings today also aided the firefighting efforts.

With warmer temperatures and intermittent rainfall forecasted across the Upper Peninsula, fire danger remains a safety concern. Use extra care with fire, make sure campfires are fully extinguished.

To find out whether burning is permitted in a given area, check daily conditions at Michigan.gov/BurnPermit.

Find out more information on fire safety at the DNR's website.