A dramatic video shows helicopters dumping large amounts of water on a massive wildfire as the blaze continues to burn thousands of acres across Michigan.
Videos of helicopters and other aircrafts battling the wildfire, which officials said started from a campfire, were shared after the fire started to spread southeast of Grayling, Michigan, at about 1 p.m. on Saturday local time. By Sunday afternoon, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said on Facebook that the blaze was 2,400 acres in size and 85 percent contained.
“Fire crews worked throughout the night to battle the fire, which started from a campfire on private property,” DNR posted on Facebook.
As of Sunday afternoon, officials said the Temporary Flight Restriction is still in effect for the area surrounding the fire, adding that it is in place to “keep the skies open” for aircrafts assisting with the wildfire.
DNR officials also warned people to be cautious when having camp or cooking fires this summer.
“Fire danger remains extreme throughout the state,” DNR said on Facebook. “Burn permits for yard debris are not being issued at this time. If you are having a campfire or cooking fire, keep water and a shovel on hand and drench, stir, drench the fire when done.”
Newsweek reached out via email to representatives for the Michigan DNR.
Social media users shared dozens of video clips online showing crews contain the blaze. One clip shared on Twitter by The Hotshot Wake Up showed a helicopter flying through the smoke to dump water onto the fire. Firefighters could be seen close to the forest line watching on as the helicopter circled overhead.
Michigan: A look at operations on the wildfire near Grayling, Michigan. Estimated at over 3,600 acres.
— The Hotshot Wake Up (@HotshotWake) June 4, 2023
Another video shared on Twitter by Dave Bondy showed planes scooping water from Lake Marguerite, a few miles from Grayling, in a bid to contain the wildfire.
Just got this video of planes scooping water out of Lake Marguerite in Northern Michigan as they battle a growing wildfire. pic.twitter.com/OGBsLkGDuy
— Dave Bondy (@DaveBondyTV) June 4, 2023
DNR officials said in a Facebook update on Saturday that the wildfire was blaze was causing visibility issues and urged people to be cautious while driving.
“Individuals driving in this part of northern Michigan can expect low visibility due to smoke from the fire and are asked to drive safely. As a reminder, please stay clear of the fire area to give fire crews space needed to work on suppression efforts.”
People can reduce the risk of a wildfire while out camping or in nature by doing the following at a campfire, according to the DNR:
- Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible.
- Pour lots of water on the fire. Drown all embers, not just the red ones. Pour until the hissing sound stops.
- With your shovel, scrape any remaining sticks and logs to remove any embers. Make sure that no embers are exposed and still smoldering.
- Continue adding water, dirt or sand and stirring with a shovel until all material is cool.
- If you do not have water, stir dirt or sand into the embers with a shovel to help cool the fire, do not bury it.
- Remember: If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
- Don’t just put water on your campfire, make sure to also put water on your fire ring. If the metal is hot it can cause nearby dry grass to catch fire.
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