Controlled burn gets out of controlWhat was intended as a controlled burn set somewhere between 20 and 30 acres ablaze Wednesday afternoon about 5 miles north of Jamestown. The fire happened at 3024 N.D. Highway 20, just south of Five Mile Corner, around 2:45 p.m., according to Rick Woehl, Jamestown Rural Fire Department chief.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
What was intended as a controlled burn set somewhere between 20 and 30 acres ablaze Wednesday afternoon about 5 miles north of Jamestown.
The fire happened at 3024 N.D. Highway 20, just south of Five Mile Corner, around 2:45 p.m., according to Rick Woehl, Jamestown Rural Fire Department chief.
Jamestown and Stutsman County has been under a burn ban recently, but conditions Wednesday fell into medium on the Fire Danger Index.
Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager, said a burn ban is only in effect if the conditions are deemed so by the National Weather Service.
“For that (the burn ban) to kick in, the fire danger index has to be very high or extreme,” Bergquist said.
Seth Lindstaed, homeowner, said he called the police department to ask the index before he started his controlled burn.
“Do not even try to burn a little bit of weeds — it just blew up,” Lindstaed said. “Don’t even try to burn anything, not even your garbage.”
Aside from engulfing Lindstaed’s and his neighbor’s land, the fire also destroyed Lindstaed’s lean-to, caused moderate damage to the garage, and caused minor damage to his home.
There were no injuries.
“Definitely do not do any burning of any sort, whether the index is high or not,” Woehl said. “… The fuel that’s out there is just waiting to go.”
While grass, weeds and cattails are dried out, the ground below is not, he said.
Three of the eight units to respond to the fire call got stuck.
With conditions like they were on Wednesday, Woehl said there is not much the department can do to get to rural fires in fields with moist ground, Other than waiting for the fire to get to a road and then cutting it off.
The fire department was on scene for about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Eighteen firefighters responded to the call.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers
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