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

Blue Lake Fire grows to 2,300 acres; cause identified

The Blue Lake Wildfire in Montmorency and Cheboygan counties grew to 2,300 acres by Saturday afternoon. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the fire was 30 percent contained.

The fire began Friday afternoon, and the DNR says it was caused by a lightning strike.

The DNR says evacuations had been ordered at the Black River Ranch, where 12 structures are threatened. The DNR also reported the loss of one outbuilding, and damage to one privately owned vehicle.

DNR spokesperson Kerry Heckman said one department firefighter sustained a minor injury and has received medical treatment, and that a group of kayakers on the Black River within the fire area was escorted to safety by a DNR conservation officer.

“We are grateful to report no life-threatening injuries and no serious property damage, as everyone on the scene gives their best effort to suppress this fire,” Heckman said. “Thank you to everyone who has followed reports and steered clear of this area.”

The DNR has 43 firefighters, a 13-member incident management team and a spotter plane responding. They are assisted by six U.S. Forest Service firefighters and a hand crew, as well as six local fire departments.

Tri Township EMS, Cheboygan EMS, Michigan State Police, the DNR Law Enforcement Division, Montmorency County Emergency Management and the Montmorency County Sheriff also are assisting.

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