Governor Doug Burgum proclaimed a statewide fire and drought emergency today, June 26, 2017.
The executive order activates the State Emergency Operations Plan and authorizes the adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard to activate the guard if needed to support local and tribal governments.
They cite extremely dry conditions, lack of precipitation and high winds as reasons for the fire emergency.
Those conditions have had a detrimental impact on livestock water supplies, crop and pasture conditions.
Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor report showed 8 percent of the state in extreme drought, 32 percent in severe drought, 27 percent in moderate drought and 33 percent abnormally dry. Conditions are not expected to improve in the near future.
According to a release from the Governor, the risk of wildfires also has increased much earlier than normal, with 30 counties issuing emergency declarations, burn bans or other fire restrictions so far. An active, prolonged fire season will likely challenge the capacity of local volunteer fire departments.