Dalrymple Declares State Fire Emergency
BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Jack Dalrymple today declared a statewide rural fire emergency. The executive order applies statewide, but restrictions only apply to counties when the National Weather Service’s Fire Danger Index indicates “Very High” or “Extreme” fire danger.
In declaring a rural fire emergency, Dalrymple activated the state Emergency Operations Plan which allows the state to provide equipment and other resources to help local and tribal officials in the event of fire outbreak.
“In many areas of the state the weather conditions have created a serious fire threat,” Dalrymple said. “I have directed state agencies to be at the ready if their assistance is needed, but we all play an important role in safeguarding against wildfires.”
Dalrymple’s executive order was issued in response to dry conditions, warm temperatures, frequent high winds and heavy buildup of dry vegetation which have significantly increased the risk of wildfires in some areas of the state. The Fire Danger Index released today indicated that a “High” fire danger exists throughout western North Dakota, one step below the “Very High” fire danger designation that western North Dakota received on Tuesday. Weather conditions can change quickly and trigger fire safety restrictions.
The National Weather Service’s Fire Danger Index is posted daily and reflects the immediate level of fire risk. “Very High” or “Extreme” designations trigger a series of specific restrictions on open burning, off-road motorized travel, smoking, fireworks and equipment operations at farms and industry locations. The North Dakota Rural Fire Danger Guide, which explains each level of fire risk and activity restrictions, is available online at: http://www.nd.gov/des/uploads/resources/154/brochure-ruralfiredangerguide.pdf
Individual county restrictions, including fire bans, may be more restrictive than the index calls for, but may not be less restrictive. The public should contact their respective county emergency manager, local fire department or other appropriate county official for detailed restrictions and prohibitions. The Fire Danger Index, burn ban information and other information about the dangers of fire outbreaks is available at: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bis/