Chances For Fires Are Higher In The Dry Conditions

The chance of a fire breaking out is a lot higher in our current, dry conditions — keeping the firefighters on the edge of their seats.

Alexus Arthur is live to tell us more about the strain the ongoing drought is having on our fire departments

Hi Lauren and Chad.

I spoke with the Minot Rural Fire Chief and he said that everyday he’s checking the fire index.

Today, this part of the state is at a low risk but he predicts within the next couple of days it could increase into a high or extreme category — which means fires could happen even quicker.

“They spread fast because it is so dry. They’re easy to ignite.” said Rex Weltikol, Minot Rural Fire Chief.

Fires are lighting up quickly throughout Western North Dakota.

“Simple things like a rock going through a lawn mower will create a spark.” said Weltikol.

With limited rain and lots of heat and wind.

“There’s not a lot of moisture in the soil.” said Weltikol.

It’s easy to ignite a spark.

“It’s dangerous. We’re at dangerous levels right now.” said Weltikol.

The Minot Rural Fire Department is taking precautions everyday.

“We make sure all the trucks are ready to go , they’re checked almost daily now.” said Weltikol.

The Fire Chief says that Ward County has been lucky when it comes to big fires — but he’s not ruling out that it won’t happen.

“It’s pretty stressful for a lot of the guys.They know it’s coming they just don’t know when.” said Weltikol.

If a fire does break out, the Rural Fire Department has their resources ready.

“We just make sure we’re carrying water and supplements on the truck.” said Weltikol.

But if need be, he has two certified firefighters that can serve in different counties.

“If there’s a huge huge need I would let those guys go.” said Weltikol.

All in all, it’s important to be aware of the dry conditions.

“Make sure they check that fire index.” said Weltikol.

To prevent as many fires as possible.

The best way to know if it’s safe to burn is to check the fire index daily.

For links to the fire index visit

Lauren and Chad, back to you.

Thanks Alexus.

Fire Index: 

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