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MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – The wildfire on the Seney National Wildlife Refuge (Schoolcraft County), ignited by lightning and first reported on Monday, May 21, had burned approximately 1,500 acres as of Tuesday evening.
The wildfire is in an area that backs up against the Fishing Loop and is a few miles west of the Visitor Center and headquarters area. Because of the location of the fire, the Marshland Wildlife Drive, Fishing Loop, Pine Ridge Nature Trail and many interior roads are closed to ALL use.
These closures are likely to remain throughout the weekend. At this time the Visitor Center, the Northern Hardwoods Ski Area foot trails, and C3 pool (which is open to fishing) are still open for use. Visitors should check in at the Visitor Center or check the USFWS Facebook page (www.facebook.com/usfws/seneyrefuge) for closure updates.
On Monday and Tuesday, fire crews, including three amphibious track crews, three engine crews and a Midewin hotshot crew worked to strengthen barriers around the fire. The strategy being taken is to contain the fire within an area surrounded by Holland Ditch to the north, Pine Creek Road to the west and the Fishing Loop to the east and south.
Crews have burned out fuel along Holland Ditch and Pine Creek. A CL 215 air tanker assisted Tuesday afternoon to help control the fire while crews were establishing containment lines. Some spotting has occurred west of Pine Creek Road and crews were attempting to contain these spots late Tuesday and will continue Wednesday morning. A helicopter is working the spot fires outside of the line. If fire crosses Pine Creek Road, the plan is to contain fire to the wet areas to the north along Pine Creek. The containment area is approximately 2,500 acres in size.
No structures are threatened. The fire is not fully contained but progress is being made.