Extreme Wildfire Risk

Emergency personnel are still battling the Meridian Boundary fire in downstate Crawford County.

The fire that started 2 days ago has scorched 8,800 acres.

Fire officials say the blaze is about 65% contained.

It’s destroyed 12 homes, damaged 2 more and either destroyed or damaged more than 35 other buildings.

The flames came from a man who was burning leaves on his property.

He had a burn permit.

But fire officials say he continued to burn after conditions changed late in the day, perhaps without knowing about changes in the fire danger alert level.

The DNRE says fire danger in the entire U.P. and the northern half of the Lower Peninsula is very high to extreme.

With warmer and drier conditions continuing and no rain on the horizon, DNRE fire specialist Celeste Chingwa says every precaution needs to be taken even with a campfire.

The entire U.P. is still under a DNRE ban on open debris burning.