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Crews battling paper mill fire in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Overnight Fire in Menominee
Crews battle fire at Resolute Forest Products in Menominee, Michigan. Picture of a large cloud of smoke.
Resolute Forest Products in Menominee, Michigan
Menominee Fire
Posted at 6:45 AM, Oct 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-08 09:33:19-04

MENOMINEE, Mich. (NBC 26) — MENOMINEE, Mich. (AP) — County officials in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula declared a local emergency Friday afternoon as fire crews continued battling a fire at a paper mill that was producing a dense cloud of smoke.

Menominee city police said Menominee County officials and emergency management officials had issued an emergency declaration, and the public was urged to avoid the area.

A spokesman for Resolute Forest Products said the fire began in Menominee, Michigan, at about 11 p.m. Thursday in a warehouse that contained pulp and waste paper.

No injuries were reported in the fire along Michigan’s border with Wisconsin. Five fire departments were called to the scene to fight the blaze, the Stephenson Fire Department said.

Some locations in adjacent Marinette, Wisconsin, were closed due to the smoke, and area schools were keeping students indoors until the end of the school day.

Crews battle fire at Resolute Forest Products in Menominee, Michigan

The fire began at a warehouse Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products rents from KK Integrated Logistics on the site of Resolute's Menominee recycled pulp mill along the Menominee River, said David Marshall, a company spokesman. He said Friday morning that the fire was under control.

A spokesperson for the company that uses the facility issued a statement to NBC 26:

A fire started last night in the warehouse that Resolute rents from KK Integrated Logistics on the site of our Menominee recycled pulp mill. Local fire departments have been on-site all night, and the fire is under control, although smoke is still billowing due to smoldering in the warehouse. Everyone is all right, and there were no injuries.

An excavator was used to remove some of the exterior building panels so the fire truck with a boom could be used to spray further into the building. We continue to work with emergency response to contain the fire, understand what happened, and prevent it from happening again.

We acted quickly and would like to reassure local stakeholders that the safety of the community and our employees is our top priority.
-- David Marshall Director, Sustainability & Public Affairs
Fire at Resolute Forest Products in Menominee, Michigan
Fire at Resolute Forest Products in Menominee, Michigan. Oct. 7, 2022

The paper mill makes paper pulp and employs nearly a hundred people, according to the company’s website, which says Resolute Forest Products is a leading producer of lumber, newsprint, and other wood products.

Menominee is located in the southern central tip of Michigan's Upper Peninsula about 55 miles (88 kilometers) northwest of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

This article contains content from the Associated Press.