Crews are continuing to fight wildfires in the central and eastern Upper Peninsula. The Department of Natural Resources says a fire around Pike Lake in northern Luce county just west of Tahquamenon Falls State Park has become increasingly dangerous as it reached 17,000 acres overnight. DNR officials expect wind gusts to reach 30 miles an hour making for extremely dangerous conditions. They are warning people east of Pike Lake to be on high alert. Currently 50 to 60 homes and camps have been evacuated from the Pike Lake and little lake areas. A shelter has been set up at the Newberry Youth Center by the Red Cross. There have been no injuries.
Meanwhile, the DNR says that the wildfire at the Seney National Wildlife Refuge is threatening to burn across the refuge’s northern boundary and onto state-managed land. According to the DNR, the fire, which has been burning since Sunday, has now consumed over 33-hundred acres and is 65 percent contained. Both fires were caused by lightning strikes during recent storms. Officials are also asking the public to be extremely cautious with anything that could possibly ignite another fire.
As wildfires continue to burn nearby, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has implemented a ban on all burning within the Lakeshore until further notice. The ban applies to all three of the park’s campgrounds, and to the 14 back country campsites. Barbeque grills are also off-limits. Campers can use camp stoves for cooking purposes, but are being urged to use extreme caution when doing so.
The Northern Michigan University history department has recognized the work of Dan Truckey, director of the Beaumier Upper Peninsula Heritage Center, with the Dwight B. Waldo Award. Truckey has been influential in the establishment of the center, located in 105 Cohodas Hall at NMU, as a valued community resource for learning about history through a variety of programs and exhibits and for connecting the past with the present through cultural events that celebrate the region’s unique heritage. The Dwight B. Waldo Award is named after the first professor of history at Northern State Normal School. Waldo also served as the institution’s first president, from 1899 to 1904. Previous winners include Willard L. Cohodas, William Vandament and Michael J. Roy.