The Great Seney Fire


The summer of 1976 was a dry one.  The water table in the Seney National Wildlife Refuge and the adjacent area was down a foot and long-range weather forecasts gave no promise of rain.  By the middle of summer, it was evident that fire danger was mounting significantly in the Upper Peninsula, and a record-setting drought was becoming protracted.  Normally damp swamp and marsh vegetation was tinder dry, and the peat and muck soils were laced with cracks and baked as hard as blacktop.  These were the kinds of conditions that kept veteral firefighters on edge waiting for something to happen.  And on July 30, it did.