Keene oil well blowout: still on fire six days later

Local News

A fire on an oil well site on the Little Missouri National Grassland has been on fire for six days

(7/28/14) An update on the oil well site on the Little Missouri National Grassland that has been on fire for more than six days.

A correction: KX received information from a source that the fire started last Friday. The Department of Mineral Resources told KX this morning that the fire actually started Thursday, July 22nd. That means the well-pad has now been burning for more than six days.

As of Wednesday, Texas-based Wild Well Control is focusing on removing all of the burnt equipment away from the well-pad so they can begin to focus on the actual wells.

The Department of Mineral Resources reports that the agencies responding include McKenzie County Emergency Management, McKenzie County Sherriff Department, McKenzie County Ambulance services, Keene Fire Department, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality and North Dakota Forest Service, in addition to Petro-Hunt’s emergency response team and Wild Well Control.

The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality is informing residents in the surrounding areas to be “air aware” and monitor their local air quality.

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(7/27/14) A fire on an oil well site on the Little Missouri National Grassland has been on fire for nearly five days.

Keene Fire Department, McKenzie County Rural Fire, U.S. Forest Service USDA Forest Service, McKenzie County Emergency Management are all on scene.

The McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office says it’s also working closely with the permit holder, Petro-Hunt Corporation, and a local private contractor, Wild Well Control, to keep the fire contained to the well-pad.

Little Missouri National Grassland is the largest grassland in the country, and the well-pad fire has not spread to the national grassland.

“The fact that it has stayed contained to the well is super big,” said McKenzie County Deputy Sheriff and Public Information Officer Kari Stuart.

Stuart says law enforcement remains posted at road barriers on 103 V Avenue and 47th M Street NW. Local residents and visitors are asked to avoid the area.

There have been no injuries and there is no danger to the surrounding area at this time.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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