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      Controlled fires planned in the Huron-Manistee National Forest

      The U.S. Forest Service is planning a series of controlled fires in three northern Michigan counties this spring.

      The U.S. Forest Service says it's planning a series of controlled fires in three northern Michigan counties this spring to get rid of ground litter such as dead limbs and trees that could cause wildfires.

      The fires will be set in Manistee, Wexford and Newaygo counties within the Huron-Manistee National Forests.

      Officials say a prescribed fire burn plan is prepared in each case. Locations are based on a variety of weather conditions, such as wind speed and temperatures. Smoke may be visible and the smell may carry for many miles.

      Fire is a natural part of many forest ecosystems. It helps create re-vegetated areas that deer, turkey, butterflies, grouse and turtles use for food, cover and a place to raise their young.