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Michigan wildfire destroys nearly three dozen homes

One of the blazes, in upper Michigan, was started by a lightning strike, authorities say. NBC's Savannah Guthrie reports.

NEWBERRY, Mich. -- Homes and cabins make up a third of the nearly 100 structures destroyed by a wildfire burning across more than 30 square miles of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, officials said Monday.

The lost property includes Pike Lake Resort near Pike Lake in Luce County.


"I was still hoping that they would stop it," owner Diane Ricketts said of the fire. "With my husband gone, I'm not going to rebuild. We're just going to go on and take it day by day and see what's going to happen."

The Duck Lake Fire began with a lightning strike last week and burned more than 21,000 acres, or 34 square miles, by Monday, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources via AP

The wildfire in Michigan's Upper Peninsula included this stretch of forest.

Parts of Michigan are extremely dry and thirsty for rain. Fireworks and outdoor burning are banned in 49 of the state's 83 counties, especially in northern Michigan.

The DNR said 95 structures have been destroyed, including 34 homes or cabins, one store and one motel. No injuries have been reported.

Fire managers explained the firefighting effort to about 200 people Sunday in Newberry, a community closest to the fire, 75 miles northwest of the Mackinac Bridge. The strategy includes aircraft dumping water.

"I didn't know what to expect," said Dennis Nezich, a DNR spokesman. "People were very polite, they listened."

DNR crews continued to battle the blaze from the ground and in the air.

NBC's Nadine Comerford contributed to this report from The Associated Press.

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