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WCMU Radio and Television is off the air in northeast Michigan due to a fire. Click to learn more.

Wildfire burns 2,000 acres in Montmorency, Cheboygan counties

Smoke from the Blue Lakes Fire billows out of the forest in an aerial image taken by a fire spotter plane.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Smoke from the Blue Lakes Fire billows out of the forest in an aerial image taken by a fire spotter plane.

A wildfire burned more 2,000 acres in Cheboygan and Montmorency counties on Friday. The cause is still being investigated, as firefighters work to contain the blaze.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the fire began around 12:40pm Friday in an area of jack pine, mixed pine and grasses. By late afternoon, the smoke plume was visible miles away, and was even showing up on weather radar. It's being referred to by fire officials as the "Blue Lake Fire."

By 9:00pm Friday, the DNR said the fire had grown to 2,000 acres. 13 people were evacuated from the Black River Ranch. But official say no structures had been lost.

Many roads are closed in the area, including Blue Lakes Road, Clark Bridge Road and Black River Road.

The DNR has 40 firefighters on the ground and a 12-member incident management team. In addition, members of the following local fire departments are assisting in fire suppression efforts: Tri-Township, Hillman Area, Vienna, Canada Creek Ranch Fire Brigade, Albert Township, Charlton Township and Onaway.

Air support includes four Fire Bosses, one Air Attack plane, a Type 3 helicopter and a DNR spotter plane.

And additional support is being provided by Onaway EMS, Hillman Area EMS, Michigan State Police, Montmorency County Sheriff and DNR Law Enforcement Division.

Fire danger was extremely high in the region on Friday, due to windy, dry and warm conditions. Fire danger is expected to remain high throughout the weekend.

Mike Horace is WCMU's Radio Program and Operations Manager.