NESTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A weekend forest fire in Roscommon
County burned about 1,500 acres, prompting some precautionary
evacuations before fire crews contained the blaze by early Sunday.
Jim Fisher, the state Department of Natural Resources' fire
management specialist, said crews had established a controlled
perimeter around the fire by about 4 a.m. EDT Sunday and continued
to "mop it up," and put down hot spots.
Crews from three townships and the state used bulldozers and
off-road engines in addition to regular tankers, Fisher said. The
cause of the fire, which started Saturday afternoon, had not been
determined
People living in as many as 20 homes, primarily in Nester
Township, were evacuated Saturday night as a precaution. But the
DNR said Sunday afternoon that all evacuated people had returned to
their homes.
One structure described by fire officials as "seasonal
residential" was lost in the blaze, but several homes were saved
by fire breaks and no injuries were reported, DNR spokeswoman Mary
Dettloff said Sunday.
The area is heavily forested, mainly with jack and red pines and
the hardwoods of oak and aspen, Fisher said.
The area hasn't had rain in about two weeks, he said, making
conditions prime for a fast-spreading fire.
He estimated that he fire would not be completely extinguished
until mid-week or a good rain.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)