Latest: Saltwater well site fire

Published: Jan. 18, 2019 at 6:19 PM CST
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After a number of explosions at the White Owl salt water disposal site set fire to the business Thursday, the only option emergency managers had was to let the fire burn itself out.

Now that the fire has all but exhausted itself, we can see exactly what was destroyed following multiple explosions caused by ignited oil tanks.

There are still a few hotspots in the middle of all this metal scrap that used to be tanks and offices. The road leading to the saltwater disposal site is opened up around 6:30 Friday morning and trucks have been entering the White Owl property to investigate.

The North Dakota Department of Health said they had officials on site monitoring the facility, however the Department of Mineral Resources has taken over the situation. With the volume of oil and water spilled in the explosion, there could potentially be damage done to whatever may be below the surface. The DoH says it is not sure if there are water pipelines or not that could be affected but they are keeping a close eye on it as a precaution.

White Owl Energy Services says they are very grateful that no one was hurt, however they are still unsure of how the explosion happened. They say it is still an on-going investigation.

There is still not a clear cause for how this all started. It's unique to see these tanks catch fire in the winter time, but when they blow up in warmer weather, it's typically caused by a lightning strike. Emergency management says that was not the case here.