Controlled burns slip out of control MondayMultiple controlled burns that got out of control had the Jamestown Rural Fire Department chasing fires from 3:20 to 8 p.m. Monday. “The amount of fires we’ve seen in the past week, it’s just been astronomical,” said Rick Woehl, JRFD chief.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
Multiple controlled burns that got out of control had the Jamestown Rural Fire Department chasing fires from 3:20 to 8 p.m. Monday.
“The amount of fires we’ve seen in the past week, it’s just been astronomical,” said Rick Woehl, JRFD chief.
The first fire occurred at 3:20 p.m., about five miles southwest of Jamestown on N.D. Highway 46. Five trucks and 10 JRFD firefighters were dispatched, and farmers with a tractor and a disc helped.
That fire burned a little more than 40 acres, Woehl said, and it took about an hour and 45 minutes to put it out.
“We had just gotten everything back to the hall, and 10 minutes later, we were still filling water in the trucks when the second page came in,” Woehl said.
A tractor was on fire north of Spiritwood, near where Stutsman County Road 62 intersects with 28th Street.
That too had been a controlled burn, and a tractor and disc were damaged while digging a fire break, Woehl said.
Three trucks and six firefighters were dispatched to that scene, but as they were en route to the site, the JRFD received yet another page — this time to a burning slough, with a telephone pole on fire.
One truck and two firefighters were dispatched to the scene of that fire.
“It was a busy afternoon,” Woehl said.
Stutsman County’s burn ban was not in effect Monday, because the fire danger index issued by the National Weather Service was set at high — not “very high” or “extreme.”
“There’s so much dry fuel, and it is awful dry,” Woehl said. “It doesn’t take much for things to get a little out of control. All the wind has to do is pick up a little bit, and it can jump a fire break really easily.”
Woehl cautioned farmers against burning, but recognized that many farmers want to get sloughs burned off in anticipation of seeding them in the spring.
“We can caution them against burning, but it’s that time of year,” Woehl said.
The fire danger index can be found by clicking on “Fire Danger Information” on the county’s website at http://www.co.stutsman.nd.us/.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be
reached at 701-952-8453
or by email at