Morton County modifies total burn ban, returns to rangeland fire danger rating restrictions

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The Morton County Commission has decided to amend the total burn ban on open burning in Morton County put in place on March 11 due to recent precipitation and subsequent greening up of vegetation. Instead, the commission declared a burn ban 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.

The burn ban prohibits the starting of fires in an unenclosed space, ignition of fireworks, burning of leaves, grass clippings, garbage pits, construction debris, fallen trees, crop residue or hay land, sloughs and bonfires. The daily fire danger rating map is updated each morning, and is available 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. A controlled burn needs to be physically monitored at all times, and residents are encouraged to have resources available to mitigate the effects (water, extinguisher, shovels, tractor). After the burning is completed and the fire is out, they should contact State Radio again at 701-328-9921 to inform them of the completion. Be prepared to call 911 immediately if the fire gets out of hand.

Any fires that could result in extended burning beyond a few hours should be avoided.

When the Fire Danger Rating is in the High, Very High or Extreme category and/or a Red Flag Warning has been issued for Morton County the declaration bans:

  • Starting fires in an unenclosed space to include burning of leaves, grass clippings, garbage pits, construction debris, fallen trees, crop residue or hay land, sloughs and bonfires. 
  • Charcoal or wood-fired grills outside city limits
  • Screen patio fireplaces and chimineas outside city limits
  • Gas camp stoves and smokers outside city limits

The cities of Almont, Flasher, Glen Ullin, Hebron, Mandan and New Salem can set their own burn bans, so the public should check with their local jurisdictions for specific restrictions. 

As an exception, the Morton County Parks will maintain the total burn ban until further notice, following guidance by the ND Game and Fish Department which has banned burning at Oahe Wildlife Management Area and surrounding public lands, effective March 29, 2021.

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.

If a citizen is ever in doubt of what they can and cannot do, they should contact the Emergency Manager or local fire department.

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