Drought, burn restrictions likely to mean fireworks ban in western ND

DICKINSON, N.D.—Burn bans and restrictions across North Dakota may likely prevent Fourth of July fireworks in some counties in the western part of the state.. More than half of the state has issued county or tribal burn restrictions, according to the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services website.
While some counties follow the daily fire danger rating to determine whether burn restrictions are in place that day, others have banned fireworks this year regardless.
Other counties, such as Hettinger and McKenzie County, have burn restrictions in place so that burning is not allowed when the rating is "high," "very high" and "extreme."
"Yes, there was rain received, but as far as blanketing the whole county and preventing from danger, we are not there," said Denise Brew, Dunn County emergency manager.
They were able to put it out without any major threat to homes or other structures.
Billings County Sheriff and Emergency Manager Pat Rummel said his county issued a burn ban on May 2 that follows the fire rating, so restrictions are in place when the rating exceeds "moderate."
When the rating reaches "high" or above, the ban stipulates: • No travel off surfaced roadways except as necessary for farmers, ranchers or industry operations • Industrial crews, farmers and ranchers need to have fire extinguishers and normal firefighting equipment at hand and remain on the site 30 minutes after operations are completed • Smoking is restricted to inside buildings or vehicles • Bans open burning including fireworks, garbage and pit burning and campfires Rummel also said he was concerned around the holiday that people would light off fireworks in more remote areas in the county, which would take fire departments longer to respond to.
McKenzie County Emergency Manager Karolin Jappe checks the fire index every morning to let people know whether the county’s burn restrictions are in place — a practice she will continue all summer.
After approval, the resident has 60 days to light a single fire on a day that permits burning, meaning when the rating is "moderate" or lower.
She asked that they call 911 immediately if they see smoke rather than attempting first to put it out themselves, noting it is better to get help on the way as quickly as possible just in case.

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