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Northern Michigan wildfire contained at 32%, not growing

A controlled burn that turned into a 6,100-acre wildfire in Michigan was 32% contained Saturday and not growing, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman said.

The fire was in Iosco County, which has part of the Huron-Manistee National Forests, roughly 80 miles north of Bay City.

Some residents were urged to evacuate Friday, but those warnings were subsequently lifted, said forest spokesman Joshua Veal.

“There are no reports of structures lost. They’re still evaluating,” Veal said. “The forward spread is stopped. The fire is not growing.”

The firefighting team includes aircraft dropping water, he said.

Veal said there was no firm explanation yet for why the prescribed burn turned into a wildfire Friday. Planned fires typically are set to improve wildlife habitat and remove vegetation that can become fuel for a wildfire.

“We only ignite them after a thorough analysis, and strict procedures are followed,” Veal said. “It showed we were ready to go. ... An unfortunate incident happened and now we’re dealing with what’s left.”