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Stark County adjusts burn ban to prevent fires

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 6:32 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Last week, firefighters in Stark County responded to five different fires in a single day, and Stark County officials say that has sparked a change in the burn ban.

On days like Tuesday that are extremely dry and windy, Stark County firefighters appreciate the county tightening its burn ban.

“Today is kind of an on-edge day for most rural departments, especially in the Southwest Region,” said Jeff Thompson, Dickinson Rural Fire Department.

Going forward, the ban on burning will kick in when the North Dakota Fire Index is in the moderate or above categories. Previously, it was no burning until it reached the high category. The idea is to cut down on the chance of fires. Rural Fire Chief Jeff Thompson says they’re busy enough putting out flames unrelated to the ban.

“We still have agricultural starts or industrial starts from oil fields and other agricultural activities such as the haying that is happening, but at least it gives us some opportunity and authority to stop some of the burns that could possibly be potential hazards,” said Thompson.

Stark County’s Emergency Services Director also saw the need for the change. She says when there are multiple fires at the same time, it is difficult to get water and other resources out to sites.

“What our firefighters are going through and the risk that it’s potentially bringing to the citizens of Stark County and their property,” said Shawna Davenport, Stark County Emergency Services.

Davenport says she appreciates citizens following the burn ban and asks them to be patient during this uncertain time.

“Hope that in the fall we’ll start to see some moisture, but I honestly don’t know,” said Davenport.

The ban is not permanent and can change if conditions improve. For updates on the ban, you can visit Stark County Emergency Services on their Facebook page.

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