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      Wildfire destroys hundreds of acres in Seney

      Six hundred acres of land and counting are up in flames in Seney because of a wildfire.

      The fire was believed to be started by a strike of lightning Sunday night, and it was discovered Monday morning.

      "We have really dry conditions right now, so the strike probably just increased the chances that lightning strike creating the fire. And it's spreading very easily," said Seney Wildlife Refuge staff member, Jennifer McDonough.

      The fire is south of M-28, west of M-77, and just north of the fishing loop on the Seney Wildlife Refuge. Some of the fire hit a roadway, causing it to stop spreading, but it's still smoldering today.

      Fire crews are doing their best to hold the fire within its natural barriers. And those barriers include a ditch to the north, a road to the west of the fire, and then a pool system to the south of it.

      But officials say fire is a normal part of the ecosystem and because of all the shrubbery, there's a strong chance that the area could have been used as a prescribed fire site.

      "A scrubby area like that might have been maintained as a sedge-marsh through natural fire. We use fire as a tool, and it's a good possibility we would have put a prescribed fire in that exact area. So it's doing what it's naturally supposed to do," McDonough said.

      The Wildlife Refuge is playing it by ear when it comes to closing trails for this Memorial Day Weekend.