In order to stay consistent with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department fire restrictions, Morton County is prohibiting, effective immediately, open burning in all of its parks to reduce potential for wildfires in heavily wooded and grassy areas in the county.

All open burning, including campfires, is banned until further notice. This ban includes charcoal, wood-fired or pellet grills, screened patio fireplaces and chimineas, and smokers. While the use of portable propane grills, propane fire pits, propane fire rings are allowed, extreme caution is advised due to dry vegetation.

Last week, Morton County Commissioners declared a Fire Emergency and Burn Ban effective through Oct. 1, 2022. The declaration bans open fires when the North Dakota Rangeland Fire Danger Rating is in the High, Very High or Extreme Category and/or a Red Flag Warning has been issued for Morton County. At that time, Morton County Parks followed the same guidance.

The revised fire ban for Morton County Parks no longer follows the Fire Danger Rating but instead prohibits any open burning at any time until further notice.

The most recent North Dakota drought monitor update shows that much of Morton County is experiencing a drought with abnormally to moderately dry conditions. With an abundance of dry prairie grasses and other vegetation, the area has already either sustained or been threatened with grass and vegetation fires. 

The penalty for violation of this burn ban is a Class B Misdemeanor (NDCC 37-17.1-10.1) with a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.