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Fire danger eases in much of Michigan; Upper Peninsula still at high risk

michigan DNR Burn Permit Map

A screenshot of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Burn Permit Map. Brown indicates where burning open debris is not permitted; green indicates where burning is allowed and orange indicates areas where county restrictions are in effect. Gray areas indicate where burn permits are not issued electronically. 

  • Fire danger warnings persist in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula 
  • The DNR is not issuing open burn permits in the Upper Peninsula, while open burning is allowed in most of northern Michigan
  • Last month was the state’s ninth-driest May on record

June 22: Michigan fireworks: Fire danger continues, prompting cancelation fears

Most of Michigan remains abnormally dry, but some rain on Sunday has helped reduce the risk of fire for much of the state.

Michigan has been in a dry spell for over a month, increasing the risk of wildfires, especially in the Upper Peninsula. Earlier this month, a fire consumed some 3,000 acres in Crawford County near Grayling.

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On Sunday, southeast Michigan received slightly more than a half inch of rain, while central Michigan got a quarter to a half-inch and northern Michigan received 1/10th of an inch.

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“That really wasn’t enough to turn it around as far as the dryness goes,” said Andy Sullivan, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Gaylord. “We need something more substantial in the inch or more range.” 

Last month was the ninth-driest May in Michigan since federal authorities began keeping records in 1895.

More than 50 percent of Michigan is considered abnormally dry, while areas of Lake, Mecosta, Osceola, Wexford and Newaygo counties are in a moderate drought, as is a swath of southern Michigan from Hillsdale to Monroe counties, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System.

Last week, northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula were at very high or extreme risk for fire. The rainfall helped reduce the risk of fire for much of the state, but most of the Upper Peninsula is still at medium or high risk of fire. 

“We could be in trouble as far as fire danger,” Sullivan said.  “If any fires do start they have the potential to spread rapidly.” 

The DNR is still not issuing burn permits in the U.P for disposing of yard waste and paper materials. 

Open burning in northern Michigan is allowed but Clare, Muskegon, Charlevoix, Bay and Roscommon counties still have burn bans in place. 

There is a slight chance of rain over the next few days, but temperatures are expected to rise to the mid 80s early next week.

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