GRAYLING TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan wildfire that has burned more than 3 square miles (7.7 square km) in hot, dry conditions was started by a campfire, the Department of Forestry said Sunday. State natural resources.
The Wilderness Trail Fire in Crawford County began around 1 p.m. Saturday near Staley Lake in Grayling Township and was traced to a campfire on private property, the department said in a Sunday update.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said the blaze, which has burned more than 2,000 acres (809 hectares), was 85% contained Sunday morning after agency fire crews and partner agencies worked overnight to fight the fire.
“The teams were working in hilly and sandy terrain and it was difficult. Weather conditions were also hot, dry and windy,” said Mike Janisse, an incident commander with Michigan DNR, said in a report.
On Saturday, the wildfire spread west and southwest, burning through stands of jack pine, mixed pine and oak, threatening several buildings. Thick smoke from the fire caused the closure of Interstate 75 from Saturday afternoon until shortly before midnight, the department said.
Emergency evacuations were issued for the fire zone, but residents were allowed to return home late Saturday.
The department said fire danger remains very high to extreme in most parts of Michigan and those conditions are expected to persist under persistent hot and dry conditions.
Janisse said authorities do not currently grant burning permits for yard debris due to the risk of fire. He urged residents “to refrain from burning until we get significant rains.”
Grayling Township is located approximately 241 km north of Lansing.