UPDATE: 10:30 p.m.
The fire will force the closure of M-28 between Shingleton and Seney Thursday. MDOT will close the road sometime between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. to conduct back burning operations from the highway.
It's expected to take several hours, but the exact duration of the closure is not known yet. Portable message signs have been posted in the area.
The official detour during the closure will be on M-94, US-2, and M-77. MDOT will announce when the highway has reopened.
The wildfire on the Seney National Wildlife Refuge, ignited by lightning and first reported on Monday, May 21, has burned approximately 1,500 acres as of Tuesday evening.
On Monday and Tuesday, fire crews, including three amphibious track crews, three engine crews and a Midewin hotshot crew worked to strengthen barriers around the fire. The strategy being taken is to contain the fire within an area surrounded by Holland Ditch to the North, Pine Creek Road to the West and the Fishing Loop to the East and south. Crews have burned out fuel along Holland Ditch and Pine Creek.
A CL 215 air tanker assisted Tuesday afternoon to help control the fire while crews were establishing containment lines. Some spotting has occurred west of Pine Creek Road and crews were attempting to contain these spots late Tuesday and will continue Wednesday morning. A helicopter is working the spot fires outside of the line.
If fire crosses Pine Creek Road the plan is to contain fire to the wet areas to the north along Pine Creek. The containment area is approximately 2,500 acres in size.
Michigan Department of Transportation officials said they will close M-28 near Seney if the need arises.
No structures are threatened. The fire is not fully contained but progress is being made.