Federal, state, and local firefighters are battling two huge blazes in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Both blazes were sparked by lightening.
Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in Luce County, where a nearly
10,000 acre fire is burning out of control. Officials say highly flammable jack pines are spurring the blaze toward Lake Superior.
The Red Cross has set up a shelter in the nearby town of Newberry. So far no injuries have been reported.
The smaller of the two fires began Sunday and has burned 3,200 acres in remote areas of the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. It’s 65 percent contained, but threatens to cross the northern boundary of the refuge into state land.
Weather is making containment efforts at both fires difficult, says Jennifer McDonough with the Seney Refuge.
“High winds and dry conditions are not exactly helpful, but, like I say, the crews have been doing a pretty good job of containing it,” she says of the Seney fire. “They’ve had a lot of help from the air with some air tankers and helicopters dropping a fair amount of water for three days.”