Aerial footage from the site of the Goose Marsh Fire.

THE FIRE THAT WAS REPORTED IN THE AFTERNOON OF AUGUST 15TH was declared out on the 29th of August after a “Rain-ending Event” – following sporadic showers since the week of the 20th.

Michigan DNR Firefighters and other local crews and stations assisted in battling the blaze, which grew to about 35 acres in size, in Chippewa County’s Whitefish Township. The fire earned its designation due to its proximity to the nearby marsh of the same name. It was reported at 6:15 PM, burning through a sandy and difficult to access part of pine forest. No structures were threatened and there have been no reports of damages to any property. Preliminary reports from the investigation suggest the cause of the blaze was a fire/campsite that was left unattended/not properly extinguished.

The DNR had bulldozers on site to create a border trench to stop the fires continued spread as well as digging through the blaze itself to mitigate its intensity. Large water tanks and ATVs were also on scene to access the fire, and help tackle the heat from all sides.

Aerial Footage from a DNR Fire Detection Aircraft the afternoon of August 15th

The DNR was assisted by firefighters from the Whitefish Township Fire Department and Hulbert Township Fire Department. Other agencies assisting include the Whitefish Township EMS, Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Bay Mills Police Department and Chippewa County Central Dispatch.

We had the chance to go on a ride along with the Chief Forest Fire supervisor for the DNRs Newberry Field Office Christopher Cox, who took us around the area and through the center of the site. Along the way he pointed out markers left by DNR crews since their work isn’t done now that the fire is out. Now the long and crucial process of rehabilitating the area begins. Elaborating on the process of fighting the fire; showing up to a fire and spraying water everywhere is only the beginning – they plow earth to churn the dirt and cool the ground, trenches around the vicinity to stop the fires spread, crews walking and driving through the blaze- to take down trees in danger of falling, uproot and save saplings with the chance of surviving and so on. The majority of the fight was handled by nature as rainstorms moved into the UP in the coming days/week. Once the fire is out and the ground has cooled, they go back through again, plowing through the ash and dirt, and replanting the saved saplings and other plants. This process can take weeks and even months as different areas recover at different rates, however at the Goose Marsh site 2.5 weeks later grass was already beginning to poke back through the blackened ground.

To view the full interview with Chief Christopher Cox follow this link –

To see our broadcast segment from this exclusive follow this link –