Upper Peninsula wildfire

I am breaking my once-a-week blogging pledge to reassure friends and family that we are completely safe from the massive wildfire which has torched at least 22,204 acres in the eastern Upper Peninsula.

We live in Baraga County, about 200 miles to the west of Luce County, a drive of almost four hours.  This weekend, when the wind blew vigorously from the east, we smelled smoke, but otherwise we are far removed from the flames which spiked 200 feet high, according to earlier news reports.

The fire, known as the Duck Lake Wildfire, has burned at least 95 structures, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  Crews are still working to contain the fire. As of 9 a.m. today, the fire was 51 percent contained.  The fire fighters are having trouble securing the fire due to the remote accessibility of the southeast section.

The fire is currently burning 14 miles north of Newberry.  Flame lengths within the fire’s perimeter are still 10 to 15 feet, and so far 21 miles of the 40-mile long perimeter is uncontained fire line, according to the DNR.

Here is a local TV 6 news YouTube video which aired this past weekend:

Just wanted to let you know we are safe and far removed from the danger of this particular wildfire.  Thanks for your emails and comments expressing concern. Love you guys!

Sad for those in the midst of this fire’s turmoil…hoping that the flames will recede soon. Blessings for all involved.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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44 Responses to Upper Peninsula wildfire

  1. I’ve been thinking about the two of you, wondering what was happening up there! I keep hearing about the wildfires, but didn’t know exactly where it was. I’m glad that you and Barry are safe, but my heart goes out to those who are in the middle of this. Fire is a massive force of nature that is extremely difficult to deal with – I’ll keep my fingers crossed that crews are able to get everything under control soon!! Thanks for the update!

  2. So glad you are safe, and so sorry for those in the midst of it.

  3. Celeste says:

    Glad to hear it! So sad to hear about the fire, though.

  4. OM says:

    Thanks for the info. Glad you are safe, and may you stay so!!! I am in awe of firefighters in such situations, and my heart goes out to those whose quality of life gets disrupted.

  5. Reggie says:

    That looks like quite a big fire, Kathy. We are soo relieved that you are okay. Thanks for letting us know you’re safe, and I hope you and your loved ones stay that way!

  6. Robin says:

    I wondered if you were anywhere near the first. So glad you are safe. I hope the flames are extinguished soon. Fire is such a scary force of nature. I feel for those who are in the midst of it. Thank you for the update!

  7. Heather says:

    I hope it’s not as windy up there today as it is here. We avoided wildfires in Georgia a couple times when we lived there, and also saw their devastation in the Florida Keys. My thoughts go to all in the path and in containment efforts.

  8. Susan Derozier says:

    So glad you are safe Kathy. They mentioned a “fire in Michigan” today on national news with no other information. you’ve had enough excitement for a while!

  9. Kathy – thank you for letting us know.

  10. Brenda Hardie says:

    Dearest Kathy, thank you for sharing this information about the fire. I knew it wasn’t near your area but am glad you reassured us. I’ve been getting updates via FB on the travel/photography pages I visit. It’s a massive fire and I have been praying for the firemen and for the people affected by this fire. Nature will recover in time….God willing. People will have a harder time recovering from the devastation and loss. May God watch over and protect all life affected by this fire.
    I am so glad you guys are safe!!
    How’s the tick bite?

  11. lisaspiral says:

    Glad you are safe. Hope it doesn’t get too smokey.

  12. debyemm says:

    Wow, I had not heard about this wildfire up there; but thanks for the reassurances regarding your safety. Last fall, my husband and I learned “how to burn” fields in an intensive full day, experiential class, provided by our Missouri Dept of Conservation. We now have fire fighting gear of our own; and 3 field areas burned this year, without incident. So, we are prepared – a bit. It is scary dry here now. After a compressed Spring of about one month’s duration, we are now in July like, droughty weather.

    Many years ago, our county during a dry spell, during which we had a day of several lightening strike wildfires, scattered about. One was headed our way; and much closer than yours (about 10-20 miles perhaps). We joined the fire fighting effort voluntarily because there were simply not nearly enough trained firefighters to handle it all.

    When one lives in a forest, it is good to know how to burn safely or stop a wildfire in progress – with firebreaks and equipment (we have a drip torch, transportable 500 gal water tank and a strong backpack blower).

    Reading your blog, adds to my gratitude that we took this step (it was ostensibly to promote wildflower growth and keep fields open, as the farmer who was haying has retired). We are in a 3 year trial, to see if the results of burning fields on 3 year rotation is good enough to satisfy us.

  13. bonnie says:

    Wildfires…so awful. It is so sad, and dangerous for the fire fighters, residents and wild life. So sad. Newberry is the town I remember from my youth, and Tacquaminon(?) Falls. There are fires up in Canada too, and we had a small one not that far from us. The firefighters had to walk in because it was quite remote. Glad you and Barry are beyond the fire’s reach, and hope that you remain so.

  14. lucindalines says:

    OK, so I feel weird hitting like on this blog. I like reading your blog, not the fact that it was a story about a wild fire. Also, I wonder why we never heard anything about it on our news. Of course if it isn’t in Texas or California, we likely don’t hear about it.

  15. Cee Neuner says:

    Glad you are safe.

  16. I’m so glad you’re safe. My thoughts are definitely with those in the pathway of the fire.

  17. bree1972 says:

    So glad to hear you are safe and a good distance from the fire. Have thought of you several times over the last few days and wondered where you were in relation to the blaze. Stay safe out there. Prayers being lifted up for lives and property in danger.

  18. Glad to know you’re okay, Kathy!

  19. So glad you are safe!! I hadn’t even heard about the fire.

  20. Dana says:

    Thanks for the update, Kathy. I hadn’t heard about the fires… but I don’t hear about much these days. My thoughts are with the people who are in the midst of the fires– safety for everyone!

  21. Karma says:

    I hadn’t heard about the fires either – but just as happy to know you are safe.

  22. Dawn says:

    Knew you were far away, but still wondered how things were up there. It’s a sad thing.

  23. bearyweather says:

    I hadn’t heard about your fires. We just had our own scare with a forest fire just south of Ely (near the boundary waters). Luckily, crews got there quickly and the fire was stopped.
    We have had a ton of rain in the last week .. so, hopefully the fire danger here is down and the rain will head your way and help with your dry forests.

  24. Colleen says:

    Kathy, we finally heard about your fires on our news this evening. So large, so much forest burning. I’m glad you’re not experiencing too much of the smoke. I just finished reading a book written by a fellow who spent many summers as a fire watcher down in New Mexico in the national forests. It was very Interesting to read about the politics of fire, not as simple as one might think. They’re preparing for a potentially busy fire season here in California.

  25. Claire says:

    Kathy I am so glad you and your family are safe. We have nothing on the scale of this fire here and the video clip helped me picture it. No one mentioned the ducks I hope they are all right, still quacking! Claire x

  26. Susan says:

    Hi Kathy, We were up north for the weekend and heard about the fires – I knew where you were on the map so I figured you smelled it but were not in danger – thankfully!!!! Hope to see you the latter part of July?

  27. We here on Beaver Island have been keeping close tabs on that fire, and worrying for all those directly affected by it. I’m sure you are, too! Even though you’re far enough away to be safe (and thank god!), that’s still a tragedy very close to home. Thanks for letting us know that you’re okay!

  28. sybil says:

    Glad you’re OK. Is Gerry clear of the danger too ?

  29. Val says:

    I’m glad to hear you’re safe. Hugs.
    (ps. the unknown ‘like’ was me – I forgot to log in!)

  30. Val says:

    PPS. Apparently it wasn’t me – I just clicked it. It can’t have taken at all. I’ll like it now I’m logged in.

  31. Anissa Mathias says:

    Thank Goodness. Hang in there.

  32. Kathy says:

    Thank you all for your concern for the folks involved with the Upper Peninsula wildfire. Here is our local TV update: http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news/story.aspx?id=760231#.T8fEprBfF2A

    Apparently 132 structures have been destroyed, but there has been no loss of human lives. Thank goodness! Officials say they are making progress fighting the fire.

    I will be driving by Newberry, a little south of the fire, next week on my way to visit my parents & brothers & families downstate. Wonder if I will be able to see anything.

    Glad to alleviate all concern about our proximity to this wildfire. I was surprised to see it hit the national news.

    Hopefully this won’t be a season with too many fires.

  33. flandrumhill says:

    So glad you’re safe Kathy. With the woods being so dry, I worry about forest fires all the time. I think it’s time to bring back the Smokey the Bear ads.

  34. Kathy says:

    Looks like the fire is about 60% contained now. Things are looking up. http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news/story.aspx?id=760702#.T8j7S7BfF2A

  35. Christine says:

    I have been following this story over the week. It’s amazing that it could be so dry there.

  36. Brenda Hardie says:

    Have a safe trip Kathy 🙂 I’m heading to my sister’s tomorrow with Alex. We’ll stay for a few days. Enjoy the time with your parents ❤

  37. Kathy says:

    The fire is 71% contained as of yesterday. Hopefully more today, as they had rain on Saturday. Here are a couple more recent news stories: http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news/story.aspx?id=761242#.T8uNPbBfF2A
    and http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news/story.aspx?id=761359#.T8uNdbBfF2A

    Thank you all for stopping by. Hope you’re having a good weekend with no wildfires in your neck of the woods.

  38. Tammy says:

    So happy that you are safe and that it is moving towards containment.

  39. Kathy says:

    It is moving toward containment, thank goodness. Hopefully this won’t be a bad fire season for the crews, nature and homeowners.

  40. Chris Roddy says:

    Our summer cottage is outside of Naubinway. We are 25 mi. south of Newberry. I’m told, you can smell the smoke there too. Scary, but I think we’ll be ok. Hope everyone else is too.

    • Kathy says:

      Chris, I will be driving through Naubinway tomorrow. I know it well, having driven through it at least a hundred times. It sounds like the fire is mostly put out. Do you live downstate? I’m originally from the Thumb and headed thattaway for a visit.

  41. Chris Roddy says:

    Hi Kathy, My folks built a summer home on Lake Michigan in the late 40’s. My husband and I have had it since they passed. It is part of the, Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club. This will be my 61st summer in the U.P. I learned of your blog, from reading Bree’s blog. Once took a driving trip around the Thumb on our way up to the cottage, in Oct. Freezing cold and pouring rain the whole way. We were hoping to see the fall colors. We obviously missed them. Talk to you soon, I hope. We’re up for the week of the 4th. Oops, forgot to tell you, we’re from the Cleveland, Ohio area. Please do’nt hate us. Go Buckeye!

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you for sharing a little bit about yourself, Chris. Glad you came here via Bree’s wonderful blog. I have been smiling reading several comments about people visiting Michigan in the cold rain. Gosh, that does interrupt our travels, doesn’t it? Nice to meet you, and I wouldn’t dare hold any Buckeye thing against you. I have a few readers from Cleveland–and two who moved on our road!–whom I adore.

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