Due to current and forecasted dry weather conditions, Morton County Commissioners have declared a Fire Emergency and Burn Ban effective immediately through October 1, 2022.

Morton joins the growing list of North Dakota counties that are also implementing burn bans throughout the Spring and Summer. Which you can follow here on North Dakota’s Burn Ban Restrictions & Fire Danger Map.

The other counties include McKenzie, Bottineau, Mountrail, Renville, Burke, and Stutsman.

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 declaration bans the starting of fires in an unenclosed space and includes the burning of leaves, grass clippings, garbage pits, construction debris, fallen trees, crop residue or hay land, sloughs, and bonfires. Fires should not be started on days 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.

You can check the daily Fire Danger Rating here.

If the North Dakota Rangeland Fire Danger Rating is in the Low or Moderate category, the public should contact State Radio at 701-328-9921 to request a controlled burn. After the burning is completed and the fire is out, contact State Radio at 701-328-9921 again to inform them of the completion.

Additionally, when towing any kind of trailer, ensure that chains are not dragging. Dragging chains cause sparks, which can ignite a wildland fire. Also, use caution when driving on dry brush or grass as hot exhaust pipes can also ignite wildland fires which may not be noticed until it’s too late.

The Commission has the authority to regulate activities with a potential hazard for loss and to protect life and property. The penalty for violation of this burn ban is a Class B Misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.