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Oil well fire continues to burn in McKenzie County

McKenzie County oil well fire
McKenzie County oil well fire(KFYR)
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 4:42 PM CDT
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MCKENZIE COUNTY, N.D. - A well pad fire continues to burn north of Keene, bringing smoke throughout McKenzie County.

The fire has been ongoing since July 23 and is currently contained to the well pad.

A number of agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, are monitoring the area, hoping to prevent it from spreading into a wildfire.

Lucas Graf with the Forest Service said a fire suppression plan is in place in case the fire spreads off the pad. He predicted the burning could continue for a while.

“It’s where we would like it to be, all things considered, so we can expect the burning to continue for one-to-two weeks before we get it all buttoned up,” said Graf.

Petro-Hunt, who operates the well pad, has hired a number of experts to monitor the fire and to help contain and extinguish the flames as safely as possible.

“We are cautiously optimistic. It is contained. It is completely located on the well site; nothing on the existing grassland or water resources,” said Beth Babb, general counsel for Petro-Hunt.

However, the company would not offer a timeframe for when the fire will be put out.

The cause is under investigation.

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