Michigan wildfire burns more than 3 square miles, emergency evacuation suspended
Update, June 4, 2023, 11:50 p.m.
Authorities said Sunday that a Michigan wildfire that’s burned more than 3 square miles amid hot, dry conditions was sparked by a campfire. The state Department of Natural Resources said Sunday that the Wilderness Trail Fire in Crawford County began about 1 p.m. Saturday near Staley Lake in Grayling Township and was traced to a campfire on private property.
Original story: June 4, 2023, 11:27 a.m.
A wildfire in Michigan had burned more than 3 square miles (7.7 square km) by late Saturday but an emergency evacuation was halted, the state Department of Natural Resources said.
The Wilderness Trail Fire in Crawford County started around 1 p.m. about 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of Grayling near Staley Lake in Grayling Township, the department said in a statement.
The wildfire moving west and southwest threatened multiple buildings and closed I-75 for most of the day, the statement said.
The fire had burned 2,400 acres (3.75 square miles) before midnight, natural resources department spokesperson Kathleen Lavey said in an email to The Associated Press.
The evacuation order issued earlier was suspended late Saturday, Lavey said.
The Red Cross responded to assist those who were evacuated and a shelter was established at Beaver Creek Township Hall.
Emergency personnel from the U.S. Forest Service, federal Bureau of Land Management and Michigan police and fire departments continued working with the natural resources department to combat the fire with ground crews, airplanes, helicopters and heavy equipment, the statement said.
The cause of the wildfire was not immediately determined.
A temporary flight restriction was enacted for a 5-mile (8-km) perimeter around the fire below 5,000 feet (1,534 meters), the statement said.
Grayling Township is located about 150 miles (241 km) north of Lansing.