4/10/2021

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Firefighters are gaining the upper hand on an eight-square-mile wildfire in Theodore Roosevelt State Park. The Bismarck Tribune reports firefighters had the blaze 80% contained on Saturday afternoon, up from 70% on Friday. No structure damage has been reported, but officials say some structure in the park could still be at risk. No firefighters have been hurt and no wildlife losses have been reported. Critical fire conditions are expected in the state through Saturday, although forecasts call for colder temperatures Sunday and Monday and a chance of rain or snow in the north.

Previously

4/9/2021 – Fire activity on the Horse Pasture Fire remained high on Thursday, however no new growth was reported. Strong winds continued to be a challenge for firefighters, as they worked to keep the fire within established firelines. Flare ups were visible as large pockets of unburned fuel within the perimeter were consumed.

As of Thursday evening, the fire is estimated to be 5,000 acres in size with 70% containment. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the area through Friday evening, with winds forecasted from the northwest at 20 mph with gusts as high as 30 mph. Red Flag conditions may continue into the weekend.

Over 80 firefighters from state and federal agencies are working to suppress the Horse Pasture Fire.

Initial Attack resources assigned to the Horse Pasture Fire were dispatched Thursday evening to assist with a new fire start southwest of Williston near Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site.

Several closures remain in place for areas impacted by the Horse Pasture Fire. The North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park remains closed. The McKenzie Ranger District of the Little Missouri National Grasslands closed the CCC Campground, the northernmost portion of the Maah Daah Hey Trail, the Long X and Sunset Trail, Summit Campground, and the Summit Overlook and Viewpoint Trails. Closure orders are posted on the Horse Pasture Fire Inciweb page listed below.

In addition to the area closures, fire restrictions have been implemented by land management agencies and counties within the areas surrounding the Horse Pasture Fire. With the approaching weekend, please recreate responsibly and check for fire restrictions.

Additional information for the Horse Pasture Fire can be found at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7372/

 

Previously

4/8/2021 – As of 1:00 PM MDT Thursday, firefighters are reporting 65% containment and an estimated 5000 acres burned for the Horse Pasture Fire in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP) and the McKenzie District of the Little Missouri National Grassland. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Responders conducted burnout procedures last night, which involves eliminating vegetation with controlled burns to establish a perimeter to contain the fire. At this time, no structure damage has been reported, but the CCC campground and other infrastructure in the park could still be at risk.

The USDA Forest Service maintains closures for the areas affected by the Horse Pasture wildfire, as well as the area in the South Unit of TRNP impacted by the wildfire last week. These orders are to protect public health and safety, and are in effect until further notice.

The western part of North Dakota reports very high fire danger today, and critical fire weather is expected through Saturday. As of today, 52 out of 53 counties in North Dakota have instituted a burn ban. Billings County has declared a total burn ban, which prohibits open burning regardless of the fire danger risk. To see details about your county’s burn ban and fire danger, visit https://ndresponse.gov/burn-ban-restrictions-fire-danger-maps.

Previously

4/7/2021 – As of 9:30 AM MDT  Wednesday, firefighters are reporting 50% containment and an estimated 5000 acres burned for the Horse Pasture Fire in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP) and the McKenzie District of the Little Missouri National Grassland. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Lighter winds yesterday have helped responders as they continue to contain the wildland fire. At this time, no structure damage has been reported, but the CCC campground and other infrastructure in the park are still at risk, as well as some private residences on the north end of the fire.

The USDA Forest Service maintains closures for the areas affected by the Horse pasture wildfire, as well as the area in the South Unit of TRNP impacted by the wildfire last week. These orders are to protect public health and safety, and are in effect until further notice.

The USDA Forest Service issued an Emergency Order for Fire and Shooting Restrictions on all National Forest System lands within Billings, Golden Valley, Grant, McKenzie, Sioux, Slope, Ransom and Richland counties, North Dakota and Corson, Perkins, and Ziebach Counties, South Dakota until further notice. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire, smoking, and discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun are prohibited with some exceptions.

All residents of North Dakota are asked do their part in preventing wildfires. Be aware of burn bans in effect in your county and your local fire danger by checking out https://ndresponse.gov/burn-ban-restrictions-fire-danger-maps. Never burn when a red flag warning is in effect, and be aware of the specifics of your county’s burn ban. Keep your vehicle off of dry grass, and ensure no chains are dragging. Properly check and maintain your equipment when working outside, and always have a fire extinguisher and shovel on hand. Educate your children on the importance of fire prevention and safety. We all can do our part to prevent wildfires.

Previously…

(CSi) 4/6/2021 – As of 9:30 AM MDT Tuesday, firefighters are reporting 45% containment and an estimated 5000 acres burned for the Horse Pasture Fire in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP) and the McKenzie District of the Little Missouri National Grassland. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Light winds last night and expected today have responders optimistic as they continue to contain the wildland fire. At this time, no structure damage has been reported, but the CCC campground and other infrastructure in the park are still at risk, as well as some private residences on the north end of the fire.

The USDA Forest Service has expanded the closure for the area affected by the Horse pasture wildfire south of Watford City. This Closure now includes CCC Campground, the Maah Daah Hey Trail from CCC Campground South to National Forest System Road (NFSR) 823, the Long X and Sunset Trail, Summit Campground, and the Summit Overlook. The closure applies to all National Forest System lands including roads and trails, in the area from the North Boundary of Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Unit, West of Highway 85, continuing West until NFSR 851 and South of 17th Street Northwest. Complete details and a map of these closures can be found on the U.S. Forest Service-Dakota Prairie Grasslands Facebook page. This order is to protect public health and safety, and is in effect until further notice.

The USDA Forest Service has also issued an Emergency Order for Fire and Shooting Restrictions on all National Forest System lands within Billings, Golden Valley, Grant, McKenzie, Sioux, Slope, Ransom and Richland counties, North Dakota and Corson, Perkins, and Ziebach Counties, South Dakota until further notice. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire, smoking, and discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun are prohibited with some exceptions.

Previously….

(CSi)  on Monday, firefighters were reporting 100% containment and an estimated 2276 acres burned for the grass fire near Medora, ND that began on Thursday.

The news released said, this could not have been accomplished without the swift and organized cooperation from all partners. The area affected by the wildfire remains closed at this time for public health and safety. This includes the Buffalo Gap Trail from I-94 southeast to its intersection with the Maah Daah Hey Trail, and the Maah Daah Hey Trail from the National Park Boundary south to Sully Creek State Park.

The Horse Pasture fire in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park has increased in acreage from Sunday, due to high winds. This fire is currently estimated at 30% contained burning roughly 3000 acres. At the time, the cause of the fire is undetermined, but likely human caused. The very rough, inaccessible terrain make containment of this fire difficult, but responders are working around the clock to contain the blaze. Resources from many partners have come together to fight this fire including local fire departments, Montana, South Dakota, USDA Forest Service, North Dakota Forest Service, local farmers, and others. At this time, no structure damage has been reported, but the North Unit housing facilities, campgrounds, and other infrastructure are still at risk. The North Unit of the park is closed at this time, as well as the CCC Campground across the Little Missouri River to the south of the park.

High and very high fire danger continues through all parts of North Dakota, and near critical fire weather is expected across the state, with a Red Flag warning in effect for south central North Dakota. Residents are reminded to be vigilant and cooperative as responders battle these wildfires. 90% of wildfires are caused by humans, so always be cognizant of your activities outside and their potential for starting fires. Everyone will need to be involved to prevent wildfires this season.