Fire danger: Index for Stutsman County set at 'high' Thursday and Friday
The fire danger index for Stutsman County and much of North Dakota was set at “high” Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
This type of thing happens almost every spring when the landscape transitions from the snow cover of winter to the green grass of spring and summer, according to Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager.
“The tricky part is from now until green up,” he said. “We go through this every year. In the spring from the time the snow melts until the grass gets green and in the fall from the time the grass dies down until we get snowfall.”
So far this year, no grass fires have been reported in Stutsman County, Bergquist said. The fire danger had been in the “low” and “moderate categories” prior to Thursday — when the snow in the county melted and the grass began to dry out.
Bergquist said the National Weather Service has changed the way it issues the fire danger index. Prior to this spring, counties were grouped together with the same fire index issued for a five- or six- county area. Now, each county will be issued its own fire danger index.
“This should be a benefit,” he said. “More true reporting for each county.”
The NWS issues the fire danger index each day by 6 a.m. with updates made throughout the day. A map of the fire danger index is available at the National Weather Service website. Bergquist said people who work outdoors or plan controlled burns should monitor the index.
“People need to be more vigilant when they’re outside,” he said. “Just be alert that the conditions are right for grass fires.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org