The word for this evening is CONTAINMENT. Containment means that the fire is encircled by a fireline but not under control. The Sleeper Lake Fire is now considered 50% contained. This does not mean that half of the fire is out.
The heli-torch crew continued burnout operations today which caused increased smoke near the fire. Islands of un-burned fuels that are in the interior of the fire were lit by the heli-torch this afternoon. The heli-torch also plans to backburn an additional area around McMahon Lake this evening.
Firefighters worked hard today holding the constructed firelines and battling strong winds that continued to push the fire toward our containment lines. The helicopters assisted firefighters on the ground by dropping water to cool the most active portions of the fire. The gusty wind did cause a few, small slopovers at the southwest area of the fire. These fires were quickly contained by engines.
Reports of unauthorized people entering the closed areas without proper personal protective equipment or an escort have been received. The firefighters request that everyone stay out of all evacuated and closed areas around the fire. Your cooperation will help ensure your own safety as well as the safety of our firefighters.
County Road 407 remains open. The fire is still active and travelers on CR 407 will encounter large equipment, especially between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Please remember the 45 mph speed limit and drive with your lights on.
Those with cabins and camps off of CR 407 will be allowed to return to check on properties, but are strongly advised to not remain overnight until further notice. We request that residents returning to their homes remove ribbons from their 911 signs and leave a porch or outside light on at all times when staying in the area. These precautions will greatly assist emergency personnel in the event of another evacuation.
Size: Estimated at 18,387 acres. 50% contained.
Location: Luce County, 6.5 miles north of the Village of Newberry.
Resources: Current resources on the fire include numerous dozers, water units, 3 hand crews, 6 helicopters, multiple marsh masters and approximately 230 fire personnel. The cooperating agencies include the Michigan DNR, Minnesota DNR, Wisconsin DNR, Bureau of Indian Affairs, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Michigan National Guard, Michigan State Police, Luce County Sheriff’s Department, National Weather Service, The Nature Conservancy, numerous Volunteer Fire Departments, Salvation Army, American Red Cross and keymen firefighters working for Michigan DNR.
Air Support – Three Blackhawk helicopters and one Chinook helicopter from the National Guard in Camp Grayling are assisting as well as Michigan DNR detection aircraft and a heli-torch from Ontario, Canada.
Weather: The forecast for Monday calls for temperatures to reach 77 degrees with 33% relative humidity. Winds are expected to be from the Northwest and gusting to 20 mph throughout the day. The winds are expected to become more variable in the afternoon due to lake effect.
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