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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Firefighters continued their efforts to place a perimeter around the Sleeper Lake Fire today. Currently dozer line is constructed around approximately 70% of the fire perimeter. The fire is considered 25% contained.

The weather cooperated enabling crews to continue the direct attack on the fire. This afternoon, winds increased from the south and southeast pushing the fire to the northwest. National Guard helicopters continued to drop water on the fire to supplement the work of firefighters on the ground.

Firefighters continued to work protecting homes by creating additional, defensible space. This work includes clearing brush and ladder fuels, raking leaves and moving wood piles, propane tanks and other combustible materials away from the homes. In addition, a dozer line has been constructed between the structures and the fire.

New resources continue to arrive to provide additional staffing and rest time for fire personnel. One of these new resources is a heli-torch crew with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources out of St. Frances, Ontario. The members of the heli-torch crew are experts in ignition. They will assist firefighters in improving the fire perimeter through burning operations. Burning operations will only occur if weather conditions allow and firefighters complete the construction of dozer lines around 100 percent of the fire.

An Incident Meteorologist with the National Weather Service arrived today. He will provide on-site weather forecasting.

Resources: 220 people, including Michigan DNR, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, Michigan National Guard, The Nature Conservancy, Wisconsin DNR, Michigan State Police, Luce County Sheriff’s Department, National Weather Service, numerous Volunteer Fire Departments, Salvation Army, American Red Cross and keymen firefighters working for Michigan DNR.

Air Support - Four helicopters from the National Guard in Camp Grayling are assisting as well as Michigan DNR detection aircraft and the heli-torch from Ontario, Canada.


  1. Anonymous9:49 PM

    Thank you for keeping such a great journal. We live in northwestern Ohio and vacation every year in Luce county and love it. We were up there last week when all this began so we have been wanting current information about the fire. Your blog is the best we have found. Is your campground just north of 407? We will have to give it a try!
    Thanks again!

    Ron & Bridget Tate

  2. Anonymous11:24 PM


    The above link is a satellite photo showing the smoke from the fire. Pretty amazing, I think.

    Glad to hear so much progress was made today with creating the fire breaks and another 15% containment. I have friends all over the country praying...

    Southfield, MI

  3. Cathy:
    I wanted to compliment you on the high quality of your on-scene reporting. Keep it up -- it's darn good.

    Mark Ranzenberger
    Department of Journalism
    Central Michigan University
    (I married an Eastman)

  4. Anonymous6:56 AM

    I think that any of us reading this need to tell our friends what a wonderful job that Cathy is doing keeping us informed. Make everyone awayre of this site. I know Dan and Cathy and have stayed at their park many times and it hurts us to know how badly this whole thing is affecting their business. WE called and talked with Cathy the other night and she said they continue to loose reservations due to the bad information from others. Next time YOU plan a camping trip to the Upper, stay with Dan and Cathy at their park. It is the least we can do to show our thanks for what they are doing and going th rough.

  5. All of these posts are important to Dan and I; whether you are just sharing more information or making nice comments about us. It is wonderful to have this much support from people that we have never met and people that we have met. Thank to all of you.

  6. Kathe
    I tried the link you put for the satellite view but I keep getting a Page cannot be Displayed message. Possibly you copied it wrong?



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