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Red Flag Warnings go up across northern Michigan

The DNR's Gaylord Unit is responsible for over 300,000 acres of land across 5 counties.

CHEBOYGAN COUNTY, Mi. (WPBN/WGTU) -- Wildfire season is in full swing as Red Flag Warnings went up throughout most of northern Michigan today.

From Grand Traverse to Presque Isle County, dozens of officers from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources worked throughout the day, making sure that none of the woodlands or homes in their assigned areas became the victims of a sudden wildfire.

It was exhausting work, especially in Pellston and Indian River, which were considered potential hot spots due to their high wind and humidity factors.

"This is the part that we've been getting ready for all year," said Forest Fire Officer Nate Stearns. "Everyone has a role to play once the weather gets like this and you know a call could come through any second."

By days end, nothing flared up in Pellston or Indian River, though wildfires were reported and successfully contained in Traverse City and Gaylord.

The Indian River Field Post is part of the DNR's Gaylord Unit, which is responsible for over 300,000 acres of land across 5 counties.

To help watch for wildfires, the DNR launched several patrol planes.

Since a blaze can grow quickly, DNR fire crews are kept on standby, allowing them to respond to almost any outbreak in less than 45 minutes.

"Fire fighters for the DNR have to go through substantial amounts of training to be qualified, not only within the state but also nationally," said Stearns. "We've all been through different levels of training."

Stearns added that about 90% of all wildfires are created by people and that all camp fires and controlled burns must be completely extinguished.


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