UPDATES: Wildfires scorch parts of north central UP

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Homes have been evacuated and structures have been lost.

UPDATED Saturday 5-23-09 at 11:28 AM

The Pigs-N-Heat Fire Relief Fund is still trying to locate fire victims. If you are or know of a fire victim who has not made contact with us please call Pigs-N-Heat President Brian Olson at 906-869-6446.

UPDATED Friday 5-22-09 at 9:26 PM

The fire is now estimated at 100% contained.  However, there are hotspots remaining throughout the interior of the fire.

****Residents and other people traveling in the fire area should understand that they will see smoke from these hotspots for the next few days.***

Firefighters have mopped up 200’ in from the edge of the fire, and will continue working on the fire for several more days until the hotspots are out.

UPDATED Friday 5-22-09 at 2:19 PM

UP forest firest mostly contained
Report from the Associated Press

UPDATED Friday 5-22-09 at 12:39 PM

VIDEO: Mid Day Report – 5-22

 

UPDATED Friday 5-22-09 at 12:18 PM

Black River Falls Fire (Marquette County)

A tree falling on a power line and sparking a fire is the cause behind the Black River Falls Wildfire.

It scorched 806 acres of forestlands some seven miles southwest of Ishpeming, in the Black River Falls Area.

Hundreds of people in Ely Township are now in the process of picking up the pieces, after the fire tore through their property and homes.

For some, there was nothing left.

At least 21 homes were among the 33 structures destroyed by the blaze.

The wildfire is now 98 percent contained.

Luckily, there was no loss of life or injuries during the two-day fire.

Pinery Lake Fire (Baraga County)

The other big wildfire in the UP, in Baraga County is 685 acres in size.

The Pinery Lake Fire near L’Anse burned property belonging to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Thursday, fire officials say they made good progress thanks to the weather.

That fire is now 85 percent contained and could be 100 percent contain by tonight.

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community land, includes a cemetery that suffered some damage, and ski trails that also burned.

No injuries have been reported.

One home was destroyed.

A BIA fire investigator from Minnesota is on the scene looking for the cause of this wildfire.

 

UPDATED Friday 5-22-09 at 12:12 PM

Black River Falls Fire Incident Report released from the DNR

 

UPDATED Friday 5-22-09 at 12:07 PM

Pinery Fire Map Released

 

UPDATED Friday 5-22-09 at 10:21 AM

New photos added to Black River Falls Fire Slideshow.
These latest photos courtesy of Bob Goyen.

 

UPDATED Friday 5-22-09 at 10:10 AM

New photos added to Pinery Lake Fire Slideshow
These latest photos courtesy Keith Almli.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 9:24 PM

Latest weather and fire conditions

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 9:17 PM

Black River Falls Fire under control
Report By Heather Sawaski with video

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 8:51 PM

Pinery Fire scorches cemetery
Report by Jenny Jewell with video

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 8:35 PM

All road closures and evacuation orders have been lifted from all locations on the Black River Falls Fire, however non-residents are encouraged to avoid the area to minimize congestion and allow residents to move freely and check for property damage.

The fire has claimed 824 acres and is 75 percent contained.

Thirty-three structures have been lost, but many more were saved.

There are no known injuries or deaths at this time.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 5:09 PM

PC Medic in Ishpeming has been taking donation items for those affected by the Black River Falls Fire over the past 24 hours.

They’ve set up their building as a drop off point and word has gotten around.

“We’re bursting at the seams,” says PC Medic’s Scott Martin.

Now, they’re encouraging families who need items to come to the PC Medic building on US-41 West and pick up what is needed.

They have furniture, clothing, and other items that have been generously donated by community members.

Martin says they’ve been working closely with the Salvation Army and the Red Cross.

They will hold a rummage sale next weekend to sell everything that has not been picked up at that time.  All proceeds from that will go to the Ishpeming Township Fire Department.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 4:10 PM

 

NICE Community Schools will hold classes on Friday.

We got word late this afternoon from the superintendent of the NICE School District that classes will resume tomorrow.

For the very latest school closing information, visit our School Cancellation page.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 4:06 PM

Fire evacuees come together at Westwood
Report by Nick Kanczuzewski with video

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 3:11 PM

If you’d like to help out the evacuees in the Black River Falls Fire, the Salvation Army has a request.

An official says gift cards are the most helpful donation you can make, because they allow the evacuees to purchase what they truly need.

The gift cards could come from a store, a supermarket, or a fast food restaurant.

If you buy them, you can drop them off at the Westwood Mall Administrative Office, or at Beanarellas in the mall.

Or you can drop them off at the Salvation Army in Ishpeming or Marquette.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 12:36 PM

– Pinery Lake Fire (Baraga County)

The blaze is currently estimated at 80 percent contained.

Additional crews from the Ottawa and Hiawatha National Forests arrived Thursday morning.

That brings the total to 80 fire crews working on the scene.

So far, about 480 acres appear to be scorched.

The DNR is mapping the area with GPS for a more accurate reading.

No injuries have been reported and one has has been last.

Crews stood their ground to save two camps Wednesday night.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 12:27 PM

VIDEO: Mid Day Report – 5-21

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 12:10 PM

New photos added to Black River Falls Fire Slideshow.

These latest photos courtesy of Rick Rhoades were taken around the time of the start of the blaze.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 12:01 PM

Latest weather and fire conditions

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 11:53 AM

Black River Falls Fire Fire Damage Map

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 11:47 AM

– Black River Falls Fire (Marquette County)

Current Status-

Size of fire= 777 acres and is 65% contained.

All homes and subdivisions along County Road 581 between County Road CS and County Road PG have been evacuated totaling 500 people.  The area is closed to residents and those not assisting the DNR.  The area is secured by the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department, Michigan State Police and DNR law enforcement.

There are no injuries or deaths.

County Road 581 and all intersecting County Roads between County Road CS and Stoneville Road remain closed.

33 structure which include houses and out buildings like garages and storage shed have been lost. This morning there were over 50 firefighters on scene.  8 dozers, 9 tankers and an overhead team are or will be deployed.

UPPCO has power along the main line through the fire area.  Feeder lines within the fire area are without power.

The DNR is being assisted by volunteer fire departments from Negaunee Township, City of Negaunee, Richmond Township, Ishpeming Township, Ishpeming City, Republic Township and Michigamme Township, as well as personnel from the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan State Police.

The Red Cross and the Salvation Army provided assistance to evacuees and firefighters.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 8:58 AM

– Pinery Lake Fire (Baraga County)

The total acreage of this fire is estimated to be 480.  Sixty firefighters are on the scene with 20 more on the way.  Any unauthorized person in the fire zone will be arrested.  As of now the fire has not been surrounded.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 8:26 AM

TV6 has spoken to the Incident Command Post for the Black River Falls Fire and the latest word is that the acreage burned is 770 acres; structure loss, which includes out buildings like garages and storage units, remains at 33.

Incident Command will meet at 12 noon with evacuees at the Westwood High School to update them on the situation.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 7:30 AM

According to Central Dispatch in Negaunee Township, “The 33 structures reported lost include out buildings like sheds and garages–it is not all homes.”

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 7:08 AM

County Road 581 between Stoneville Road and County Road CS remains CLOSED.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 1:23 AM

New overnight photos added to Black River Falls Fire Slideshow

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 1:15 AM

The last official word is that 581 Cash is still standing and that Mather Nursing Home has NOT been evacuated in the Black River Falls Fire.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 1:09 AM

First hand report of Black River Falls Fire

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 1:04 AM

Latest weather and fire conditions

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 12:53 AM

New Video:
Black River Falls Fire Raw – Clip 5
Black River Falls Fire Raw – Clip 6
Black River Falls Fire Raw – Clip 7

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 12:43 AM

– Black River Falls Fire (Marquette County)

Thirty-three structures have officially been destroyed.

But no injuries have been reported at this point.

Fire officials expect to be on the scene two to three days.

They have no idea how the blaze started at this time.

Acreage destroyed is estimated at over 750.

– Pinery Lake Fire (Baraga County)

Little information is available on this fire.

Currently, we know that the fire has claimed around 400 acres.

Officials on the scene are estimating that this blaze is 20 percent contained.

One structure has been destroyed in this fire.

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 12:36 AM

 

VIDEO: Black River Falls Fire news coverage from your TV6 Late News.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 12:25 AM

Those 500 evacuees are at Westwood High School, which is now the evacuation site for the Black River Falls Fire.

The American Red Cross is at the high school.

It’s not known how long those residents will be out of their homes.

Fire officials are staging at the Lutheran Church and directing fire crews from that location.

New information at this time is limited, but we’ll continue to bring you the very latest.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 12:25 AM

We have a confirmed report from the DNR that 15 structures have been destroyed in the Black River Falls Fire in Ely Township, but that figure may be higher.

Five-hundred residents have been evacuated from Island Lake Road north to the Beagle Club Road and the Lutheran Church.

Several area fire departments are currently battling the blaze.

It’s described as a very aggressive fire through jack pine.

 

UPDATED Thursday 5-21-09 at 12:18 AM

Black River Falls Fire burns into the night
Report By Heather Sawaski with video

 

UPDATED Wednesday 5-20-09 at 11:41 PM

Photos from Pinery Lake Fire in Baraga County

 

UPDATED Wednesday 5-20-09 at 11:17 PM

Photos from Black River Falls Fire in Marquette County

 

UPDATED Wednesday 5-20-09 at 11:02 PM

New raw video posted.

Black River Falls Fire Raw – Clip 1
Black River Falls Fire Raw – Clip 2
Black River Falls Fire Raw – Clip 3
Black River Falls Fire Raw – Clip 4

Stay tuned for another update.

 

UPDATED Wednesday 5-20-09 at 10:42 PM

NICE Community Schools have been closed due to the Black River Falls Fire.  The 6th grade field trip to Mackinac Island will depart on schedule.

Read the news story or Visit our school closings page for the very latest.

 

UPDATED Wednesday 5-20-09 at 10:22 PM

– Black River Falls Fire (Marquette County)

The fire has charred 750 acres at this point.

DNR units have eight plow and nine water units on site.

Numerous fire departments are also assisting in the blaze.

This is a very aggressive fire which started late afternoon Wednesday.

It burned through stands of jack pines and is west of County Road 581.

At this time, the fire has not jumped the road.

The fire is believed to have started around County Road CS and has since moved north to County Road CD.

Officials are saying the fire has not reached the Twin Pines area.

500 people have been evacuated and structures have been lost.

We’re working to find more details at this time.

– Pinery Lake Fire (Baraga County)

This fire north of L’Anse has charred a couple hundred acres according to officials.

At this time, it’s approximately 20 percent contained.

Two fire departments, L’Anse and Baraga, are battling the blaze while many others are on standby.

It is currently burning through hardwoods and has taken down a pine plantation.

Winds are currently out of the south-west and the fire is moving in a north-east direction.

Officials believe a wind shift is expected with the arrival of a cold front.

Temps should drop and winds will shift from the west.

Stay with TV6 and uppermichiganssource.com for the very latest.

 

UPDATED Wednesday 5-20-09 at 9:20 PM

– Marquette County Fire Update

There are wildfires burning out of control Wednesday night.

One in Marquette County, the other in Baraga County.

First, the Marquette County Wildfire is burning along County Road 581, from Island Lake Road North.

The fire line is about three miles long.

So far, it’s stayed on the west side of County Road 581.

Smoke is heavy in the area and authorities are asking everyone to stay away.

Residents have been evacuated from Island Lake Road North to the Beagle Club Road and the Lutheran Church.

Those evacuees are at Westwood High School, which is now designated as an evacuation site.

The American Red Cross is at the high school.

Fire officials are staging at the Lutheran Church and directing fire crews from that location.

Several structures have been lost in the wildfire.

So far, there are no injuries to report.

– Baraga County Fire Update

Now the second wildfire, which is burning in Baraga County north of L’Anse along the Skanee Road.

Residents are being evacuated on Pinery Road and west of Indian Lake Road.

Those evacuees are at the L’Anse Fire Hall.

The American Red Cross is handling that evacuation site.

What’s being called the Pinery Lake Fire is moving toward Third Lake and has crossed Indian Cemetery Road.

People on Skanee and Indian Cemetery Roads can evacuate on a voluntary basis.

Firefighters ask those that are leaving to post a sign saying they have left due to the wildfire.

Some structures are said to have been lost in this fire as well.

Stay tuned to TV6 and uppermichiganssource.com for the latest updates.

 

UPDATED Wednesday 5-20-09 at 7:19 PM

Area firefighters have their hands full tonight battling at least two large wildfires.  One is in Ishpeming Township on County Road 581.  TV Six’s Heather Sawaski is on the scene.

The fire is burning out of control and spreading.  It has charred more than 100 acres and is being fueled by hot, dry, and extremely windy conditions.  The fire is threatening several homes.  Authorities are evacuating residents in the area and are advising people to stay away.

In another report of serious fire, this one just outside L’Anse it’s located in what’s known as the Pinery Location, not far from Skanee Road.  A resident reported seeing a large cloud of smoke in the area at about 6:15 Wednesday evening

The Department of Natural Resources is sending an incident management team to the fire.

A third fire has been reported at the Fish Lake Grade near Champion

TV6 will have more on these fires as information becomes available.