Fire fighters have made considerable progress in the last few days extending containment of the Sleeper Lake Fire. The fire is being monitored closely as it is still smoldering or burning in deep in the peat, with a couple of active hot spots still burning. Many trees have had root systems destroyed and falling trees pose a serious hazard. The fire area will be patrolled and this restriction to travel within the fire boundaries will be enforced.
Incident Command for this fire will be turned over to the local unit in the very near future. The Incident Command Post for the Sleeper Lake Fire was moved from 4 Mile Corner to the Newberry Field Office. The ‘store’ which the Salvation Army and American Red Cross established and maintained with donations from members of the surrounding communities will be open to fire fighters through tomorrow.
Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario and Manitoba Natural Resource agencies established the Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact in order to promote effective prevention, pre-suppression and control of forest fires in the Lake States region of the U.S. and adjacent areas of Canada. The agreement, reached by this compact, allows member agencies to quickly share equipment and resources as needs arise.
During the Sleeper Lake Fire, the State of Minnesota shared CL-215-Water Bombers; the US Forest Service shared a helicopter; and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the U.S, Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management, the State of Wisconsin and the Province of Ontario all shared crews and equipment. Without these resources readily available, the Sleeper Lake Fire could have been much worse. More information on the Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact can be found at www.glffc.com
Morale and motivation for all fire crews has been very high during the course of the fire, even though fire personnel have been away from their home and families for extended periods of time. Mingo Crew #2-US Forest Service-Puixco Missouri, led by Crew Boss Robert Waldner, demobilized yesterday and departed very early this morning.
They were one of the more motivated crews on this assignment. Each morning before the bus departed, they would share inspirational readings with each other. Each evening, upon their return to ICC, they could be heard chanting hoorahs as their bus returned to the yard. Crew Boss Waldner, who served on numerous western fires, made a point of commenting on the unprecedented generosity and support that the fire crews received from the communities impacted by the fire.
If you have made travel plans to come to the area, you are encouraged to do so. Fire fighters heartily attest to the hospitality of the communities most affected by the fire, including Village of Newberry and all of Luce County. They, and all of the communities in the Upper Peninsula, await your visit.
The 55 MPH speed limit was re-instated on Highway M-123.
The bridge over Dawson Creek on CR 414 in Luce County scheduled for removal today, will remain open until Tuesday September 4, 2007, to allow for holiday travel.
The burning ban remains in effect throughout the U.P. due to drought conditions. Recreational campfires are not allowed, except in those campgrounds with on site rangers, managers or owners and designated locations for campfires; or in places of habitation with permanently established metal or masonry containers or fire rings. Additional restrictions are also imposed with the burning ban. For a complete list of burning ban restrictions, please visit the DNR website.
For the Record Book
1 week ago