Colfax Fire in Wexford County is now 78% contained

Contact: Kerry Wieber, 517-643-1256
Agency: Natural Resources

May 27, 2021

Department of Natural Resources fire crews are making headway as they work to contain the Colfax Fire that continues to burn in northern Wexford County, Michigan. The fire, which was reported shortly after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 25, is currently estimated at 378 acres. The acreage of the fire area will continue to be updated as more accurate data is collected and confirmed.  

This brief DNR drone video, captured this morning, provides a glimpse of conditions in the area.

A blackened, burned area of the forest is shown in an aerial view.The fire is located approximately 5 miles northwest of the city of Manton and 21 miles southeast of Traverse City. The fire is 78% contained, with a total fire perimeter estimated at 6.3 miles. Currently, 5.9 miles of the fire line has containment line completed, with work continuing on the remaining 0.4 miles of uncontained fire line. The fire area is located east of 31 Road, west of 33 Road, north of 12 Road and primarily south of 8 Road.


The cause of the Colfax Fire remains under investigation.

Fire crews today will focus on establishing containment lines on the uncontrolled fire edge, monitoring and patrolling the fire area, mop-up and continued work to fell hazard trees.  

Firefighter and public safety remains the No. 1 priority as fire suppression efforts continue. The DNR asks that the public continues to stay clear of the fire area. For those who must enter the area, use caution and be alert to the presence of dead, standing trees (called snags) that could fall over and for other hazards. Snags can fall across roadways, creating a hazard for people driving through the area. Additionally, due to the cooler nighttime temperatures, low-lying smoke from the fire may affect visibility in the area.

As a result of the combined fire suppression efforts, both on the ground and in the air, a total of 151 structures (86 residences and 65 outbuildings) were protected from the fire. There is no reported structure loss or damage. The only reported loss due to the fire includes a travel trailer, utility trailer, backhoe tractor implement and a snowblower.

Presently, the following resources are assigned to the Colfax Fire:

  • 25 DNR firefighters.
  • DNR Incident Management Team.

Rain is forecast for the fire area this afternoon, overnight and tomorrow. Any precipitation that falls over the fire area will assist the efforts of fire crews, who will continue to monitor and patrol the area for the next few days.

The DNR reminds everyone to take precautions while doing yard work and outdoor activities this spring. Get a burn permit at Michigan.gov/BurnPermit and check local weather and fire danger before you burn debris. Other safety tips include burning debris in barrels with metal screens and clearing any vegetation around your burn area, always having a source of water nearby when burning, never leaving a fire unattended, and completely extinguishing fires every time you burn.

Get more fire safety tips at Michigan.gov/PreventWildfires.


Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available for download. Caption information follows. Photos courtesy of the Michigan DNR.

Smoke_aerial: Wildfire smoke hangs over the forest in Wexford County, Michigan. 

Forest_burn: A burned area from the Colfax Fire, in Wexford County, Michigan, is shown in an aerial view.