Upper Peninsula Duck Lake Fire update:
Tahquamenon Falls State Park reopens; landowners contacted
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today offered this update on the Duck Lake Fire in the Upper Peninsula’s Luce County.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park, which had been closed due to danger posed by the fire, will reopen Wednesday, May 30, 2012. The Upper Falls Viewing Area, Lower Falls Campground, and Visitor Center will open to the public. The hiking trails north of M-123, including the North Country Trail, will remain closed.
The fire is now estimated to be 21,450 acres in size. The fire made some runs yesterday, and additional GPS data became available that resulted in the upward revision of the fire size. The fire is 55 percent contained.
Rain fell on the fire late this afternoon. There is a continuing chance for thunderstorms through late evening, with a chance of rain showers through the night. Temperatures are expected to drop into the low 40s, with maximum humidity of 100 percent. Winds are expected to be out of the west at 5-10 mph, shifting to the southwest at 7-12 mph by midnight. Gusty and erratic winds are expected near thunderstorms though late evening.
As of this afternoon, all of the landowners for whom we have contact information and whose structures have been assessed have been contacted. We expect to complete the structure assessment on Wednesday, May 30.
Landowners who have structures within the fire perimeter and who have not contacted us are urged to call either 211 (Upper Peninsula residents) and 1-800-338-1119 (all others). Please have your fire number and road name when you call. Landowners who have property located within the fire line may call the same numbers in order to register to be escorted back in to view their properties.
There will not be any escorted site visits to individuals who do not own property within the fire line. The highest priority will be given to the individuals who own permanent residences within the fire line. Site visits will depend upon fire conditions and operations at the time.
The latest estimate is that there are 134 properties within the perimeter of the fire. Ninety-nine properties have been inspected. Inspections are ongoing, and the entire fire area has not been inventoried. Of the 99 properties inspected, 39 properties have suffered losses. On the 39 properties that suffered losses – some with multiple structures -- 97 structures were destroyed. The structure losses breakdown as follows:
- 34 homes/cabins
- 22 garages
- 22 sheds/outbuildings
- 17 campers
- 1 store
- 1 motel
All road closures remain in effect until further notice. No road reopening schedule has been determined due to ongoing fire issues and aircraft suppression efforts.
A total of 237 personnel – including 56 overhead personnel -- are involved with fire suppression efforts. People, equipment and agencies fighting the fire include:
- Four DNR conservation officers and a sergeant are on duty around the clock.
- Volunteer fire departments: Bay Mills, Germfask Township, Hendricks Township, Burt Township, Whitefish Township, Superior Township, Village of Newberry, and Kinross Township.
- 18 DNR fire engines, 10 volunteer fire department engines, 1 VFD fire department water tanker, 3 Wisconsin DNR engines.
- 10 Michigan DNR and 2 Wisconsin DNR bulldozers
- 1 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helicopter
- 2 Minnesota DNR air tankers
- 4 Michigan National Guard aircraft and ground support.
- Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Hand Crew