Horse pasture fire in North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park is 50% contained, 5,000 acres have been burned

Local News

4/7/2021, 7:10 p.m.

According to the McKenzie County Sheriff Office’s Facebook page, more back burning is happening in the North Unit — which is the reason for all of the smoke.

Highway 85 is still open but traffic is being slowed down due to first responders working close to the Highway.

They thanked everyone for their cooperation during this time.

4/7/2021 10:35 a.m.

Firefighters are reporting 50 percent containment and an estimated 5,000 acres burned.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Lighter winds yesterday have helped responders as they continue to contain the wildland fire. At this time, still no structural damage has been reported, but the CCC campground and other infrastructure in the park are still at risk, as well as some private residences on the north end of the fire.

The USDA Forest Service maintains closures for the areas affected by the horse pasture wildfire, as well as the area in the South Unit of TRNP impacted by the wildfire last week.

These orders are to protect public health and safety and are in effect until further notice.

4/6/2021 11:21 a.m.

Firefighters are reporting 45 percent containment and an estimated 5,000 acres burned.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Light winds last night and expected today have responders optimistic as they continue to contain the wildland fire.

At this time, still no structural damage has been reported, but the CCC campground and other infrastructure in the park are still at risk, as well as some private residences on the north end of the fire.

The USDA Forest Service has expanded the closure for the area affected. This closure now includes CCC campground, the Maah Daah Hey Trail from CCC campground South to National Forest System Road (NFSR) 823, the Long X and Sunset Trail, Summit Campground and the Summit Overlook.

The closure applies to all National Forest System lands including roads and trails, in the area from the North Boundary of Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Unit, west of Highway 85, continuing west until NFSR 851 and south of 17th Street northwest.

Complete details and a map of these closures can be found on the U.S. Forest Service-Dakota Prairie Grasslands Facebook page.

The USDA Forest Service has also issued an Emergency Order for Fire and Shooting Restrictions on all National Forest System lands within Billings, Golden Valley, Grant, McKenzie, Sioux, Slope, Ransom and Richland Counties in North Dakota; and Corson, Perkins, and Ziebach Counties in South Dakota until further notice.

Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, smoking and discharging a firearm, air rifle or gas gun are prohibited — with some exceptions.

4/5/2021 2:49 p.m.

Officials say the horse pasture fire is about 30 percent contained and has burned roughly 3,000 acres.

The very rough, inaccessible terrain is making it hard to contain the fire — but responders are working around the clock to rein in the blaze.

Officials think the fire may have been human caused.

Crews from Montana, South Dakota, the USDA Forest Service, the North Dakota Forest Service, local farmers and others are all working together to battle the blaze.

At this time, no damage to structures has been reported, but the North Unit housing facilities, campgrounds and other infrastructure are still at risk. The North Unit of the park is closed at this time, as well as the CCC campground across the Little Missouri River to the south of the park.

High and very high fire danger continues through all parts of North Dakota, and near-critical fire weather is expected across the state. Residents are reminded to be vigilant and cooperative as responders battle these wildfires.

4/5/2021 1:16 p.m.

Firefighters continue to battle a blaze that began Saturday, April 3, near the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

In a recent Facebook post, the park says the North Unit remains closed to the public.

The park also said fire restrictions are in place for all units of the park.

“Campfires and the use of non-propane camp stoves are not allowed at this time,” according to the Facebook post.

Visitors are being told to use caution, as the fire danger is very high.

This is developing story. We will continue to update as more information becomes available.

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