2012-12-27 / Front Page

Top 10 stories of 2012

Summer wildfires plague two areas


An ariel shot of the Duck Lake Fire, which burned more than 21,000 acres during its nearly three-week life, shows the severe nature of the blaze. 
Courtesy photo An ariel shot of the Duck Lake Fire, which burned more than 21,000 acres during its nearly three-week life, shows the severe nature of the blaze. Courtesy photo NEWBERRY – Two wildfires wreaked havoc over the summer, one of which burned over 21,000 acres in Luce County. Known as the Duck Lake Fire, the blaze lasted nearly three weeks and was the third largest wildfire in Michigan’s history.

The Duck Lake Fire was believed to have been ignited by a lightning strike and was first detected on May 24. Numerous agencies were involved in fighting the fire, including: the Michigan National Guard, Michigan State Police, Michigan State Police Emergency Management, Luce County Sheriff’s Department, Red Cross, Luce

County Emergency Management, Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Wisconsin DNR, Minnesota DNR.

Agencies such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Beartown and UPCAP (211), assisted residents who were displaced from their homes during the blaze.

There were approximately 141 properties within the perimeter of the fire, 136 structures of which were lost, including: 49 homes/ cabins (including a store and a motel), 23 garages, 38 sheds/outbuildings, and 26 campers.

A separate wildfire, the Pine Creek North fire, within the Seney National Wildlife Refuge boundaries, burned approximately

3,400 acres before it was contained. The fire, like the Duck Lake Fire, was believed to have been started by a combination of dry conditions and a lightning strike.

The fire was first reported on May 21, and contained by the end of the month. Resources on site for the blaze included: fire crews from Wis., Minn., and Ill.; refuge staff, refuge volunteers, U.S. Forest Service Logistics, Planning and Support personnel; a 100-Person Mobile Cache; a mobile communications center; seven Marshmasters; and four Type Six Engines.

Agencies on site included: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and the Michigan State Police.

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