(I THOUGHT I'D BE AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER TODAY BUT SEEMS I'VE BEEN IN THE OFFICE SINCE 6 A.M.!!)
Russ MacDonald, Incident Commander, on the Sleeper Lake Fire, the third largest fire recorded in Michigan’s history, advises that this fire is 95% contained. Two relatively small areas of concern remain, one on the southwest and one on the northwest side of the fire, where crews are continuing mop-up operations. Paul Gaberdiel, Area Fire Supervisor Newberry Field Office, reports that there are already signs of Mother Nature healing herself. Paul reports seeing various wildlife in the fire area, including seven Sharptail Grouse, and that charred areas in the marshes are already greening up.
The number of fire personnel has dropped dramatically over the last few days, down to approximately 75 fire personnel. The fire crews worked today pulling pipes and hose from various areas around the fire line. Hazardous trees along highway M-123 were downed and are no longer considered a problem for passing motorists.
The cost of suppression on the Sleeper Lake Fire has reached six million dollars.
Fire fighters have made considerable progress in mop up of this fire and do not expect it to pose any danger to Labor Day visitors. If you have made travel plans to come to the area, you are encouraged to do so. Fire fighters can heartily attest to the hospitality of the communities most affected by the fire, including Newberry and Luce County. They, and all of the communities in the eastern Upper Peninsula, welcome your support and await your visit.
Luce County Sheriff, Kevin Erickson, advises that property owners and their guests may return to the Chesbrough Lake, Widgeon/Sawdust Pile road, Spile Dam and East Branch Sportsman’s Club areas.
These individuals are permitted back into these areas under the following conditions:
· Do NOT travel on the main roads in this area between 8 a.m. through 10 a.m.
or from 6 p.m. through 8 p.m.
· No one will be allowed in the fire area, either by vehicle or afoot.
· Remember, State law requires all motorists to yield to emergency vehicles and equipment.
This area will be patrolled and these restrictions will be enforced.
County Road 420 remains closed.
The 55 MPH speed limit was re-instated on County Road 407.
The bridge over Dawson Creek on CR 414 in Luce County will be closed beginning tomorrow for approximately 10 weeks. The bridge replacement is part of a federal grant for bridge replacements.
For the Record Book
5 days ago