Colfax Fire in Wexford County now fully contained

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

May 28, 2021

An aerial shot showing a blackened 400-acre spot on the landscape where the Colfax Fire burned in Wexford County; parts are still smoking. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced that the Colfax Fire in northern Wexford County is now fully contained.

The fire, which was reported shortly after 4:30 p.m Tuesday, May 25, burned approximately 378 acres of both private and state forest land. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The fire area, located approximately 5 miles northwest of the city of Manton and 21 miles southeast of Traverse City, received a welcome 0.5 inches of precipitation overnight. The soaking rain, which was prolonged over several hours, provided significant assistance to the fire suppression efforts. The fire area is located east of 31 Road, west of 33 Road, north of 12 Road and primarily south of 8 Road.

DNR crews will be on site for a few days to put out any hot spots

Local DNR fire crews will remain in the area over the next few days and will focus their efforts on identifying and extinguishing any remaining hot spots in the interior area of the fire, monitoring and patrolling, and continuing the work of felling hazard trees.  

Public safety remains a priority as the DNR continues to secure the fire area. The department asks that the public continue to avoid the area, if possible. Anyone in the vicinity is advised to use caution and be alert to the presence of snags (dead, standing trees) and other hazard trees. They can easily fall over, especially in increased winds. Snags can also pose a danger if they fall across roadways.

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, a utility trailer, a backhoe tractor implement and a snowblower.

Keep fire safety in mind during Memorial Day weekend

As Michigan kicks off the holiday weekend with mostly dry conditions predicted, the DNR reminds everyone to take precautions while enjoying campfires with family and friends. Always have a source of water nearby, never leave a fire unattended and completely extinguish campfires when done.

Get a burn permit at Michigan.gov/BurnPermit and check local weather and fire danger before you burn yard debris.

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

The accompanying photo is available below for download. Caption information follows.

Fire overview: An aerial shot take Wednesday over the area of the Colfax Fire in Wexford County shows the burned area which totals about 378 acres.