Northern Michigan wildfire still burning, over 75% contained

A burned area from the Colfax Fire, in Wexford County, Michigan, is shown in an aerial view.
A burned area from the Colfax Fire, in Wexford County, Michigan, is shown in an aerial view.(source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources)
Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 3:12 PM EDT
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WEXFORD COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - More than 25 firefighters from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources remain busy battling a large wildfire in Wexford County.

DNR fire crews say the Colfax Fire between Manton and Traverse City has burned about 378 acres and was 78% contained on Thursday afternoon. The size of the burn area was revised downward Thursday based on new overhead mapping of the fire line.

About 5.9 miles of the fire perimeter has a full containment line. Less than a half mile of containment lines need to be completed before the fire can be declared 100% contained.

The DNR says the fire ignited in a private scotch pine plantation around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and spread into a state forest populated with aspen, red pine and spruce trees.

The Colfax Fire threatened 86 residences and 65 outbuildings, but none were damaged. Two trailers, a backhoe and a snowblower were the only reported damage to property, according to the DNR.

The DNR has 25 firefighters assigned to the incident, along with the department’s incident management team.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Thursday afternoon, but DNR fire officials say the incident shows the dangers of burning debris this spring. They encourage homeowners to get a permit or check with their local fire department before starting any fires.

Anyone with a fire should clear vegetation around the burn area, keep a water source nearby, stay around the fire at all times and completely extinguish any hot spots before leaving.

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