Wildfire safety

Wildfires can occur in North Dakota this time of the year. North Dakota Firefighter's Association says safety is important if you're nearby this natural emergency.

Wildfires like the one that threatened the University of Mary four years ago can start instantly if winds pick up, according to Robert Knuth.

"It really doesn't take a lot to ignite a grass fire, we have had grass fires start by people mowing their lawns and their lawnmowers just clip a rock and start a spark and as their walking down their yard they turn behind them and see that the grass is on fire," said Knuth.

He says it's important for people to check the fire danger index and contact their local fire department before starting a fire.

"Depending on whatever the index indicates, high, very high, or extreme, we really need to take into consideration for outside burning which would include BBQ's, grilling outside, and setting up little campfire," said Knuth.

Knuth says without checking the fire danger index, you won't know what the fire danger is.

"It could be raining in the morning and you can think this will be a very good day to do some burning, and by noon the rain stops, and by one the wind picks up and we're in high, very high, or even extreme," said Knuth.

Knuth says you can check the fire danger index on your phone, online or by calling your local fire department.

Knuth says to call 911 immediately if you suspect any problems.

To check the fire danger index go to www.wfas.net/data/nplains/FDBISC.txt