LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today declared a state of disaster in the Upper Peninsula counties of Luce and Schoolcraft to make available all state resources to protect public health and safety in ongoing efforts to fight the wildfires already engulfing more than 20,000 acres. The declaration also may permit authorities to evacuate, and establishes a fireworks ban in the two affected counties and an outdoor burning ban in 49 counties.
Snyder also issued Executive Order 2012-8 activating the National Guard to provide assistance.
The declaration, outlined in a proclamation, was requested by the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD). The declaration ensures that all possible resources, in accordance with the Michigan Emergency Management Plan, are provided to assist response efforts in the form of personnel, supplies, equipment, materials and monetary aid.
"This declaration makes available all state resources to support local response efforts in ensuring our citizens remain safe, and it helps reduce property loss from the ongoing wildfires," Snyder said. "We are committed to work together with local, state and federal emergency personnel to protect our citizens and communities from the dangers of these significant fires."
The Michigan departments of Natural Resources, State Police and Transportation have already deployed resources, equipment and personnel to the affected areas to help contain the wildfires, block roadways and coordinate response efforts in partnership with local and federal agencies.
To help monitor the situation, the State Emergency Operations Center has been activated in Lansing and is staffed by several state agencies to coordinate the state's response efforts and to work in collaboration with local, state and federal partners.
Snyder's declaration of a disaster authorizes the MSP/EMHSD to coordinate and maximize all state efforts in preserving and acquiring state and federal resources focusing on public health and safety concerns in Luce and Schoolcraft counties.
A hotline has been established for the public to check for status updates. Call 855-440-6424 for the latest information.
The 49 counties affected by the outdoor burning ban are:
Alcona, Alger, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Baraga, Bay, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Clare, Crawford, Delta, Dickinson, Emmet, Gladwin, Gogebic, Grand Traverse, Houghton, Iosco, Iron, Isabella, Kalkaska, Keweenaw, Lake, Leelanau, Luce, Mackinac, Manistee, Marquette, Mason, Mecosta, Menominee, Midland, Missaukee, Montmorency, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ogemaw, Ontonagon, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon, Schoolcraft, and Wexford.