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Duck Lake fire sweeps across Michigan's Upper Peninsula

The vast Duck Lake fire, likely sparked by a lightning strike and unusually high temperatures, hits at what's typically the end of the Michigan wildfire season.

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This photo, released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, shows the Pine Creek North wildfire at Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Seney, Mich. on May 23.The wildfire in Michigan's Upper Peninsula has burned at least 1,500 acres of a wildlife refuge, leading to the expected closing of some trails and roads through the Memorial Day weekend.

US Fish and Wildlife Service/AP

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A wildfire that started Wednesday in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is on track to become the state’s third-largest wildfire in more than 140 years.

Dry conditions, high temperatures, and strong winds in the region are preventing fire officials from suppressing a blaze in Luce County, which encompasses Lake Superior State Forest. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the fire can be tracked to a lightning strike in the area. On Thursday, the blaze spread across 9,500 acres, intensifying Friday when the fire burned a total of 17,000 acres, or more than 26 square miles.

Officials say the fire is spreading by the tops of jack pines.

No injuries are reported to date. Evacuations have been ordered. State officials say six buildings were destroyed and over 40 more are under threat.

The state department of natural resources reports that by May 13, before the current blaze they are calling the Duck Lake fire, a total of 239 wildfires have burned over 1,800 acres in the state, destroying 25 buildings. By the same date last year, a total of 80 wildfires are on record.

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