Volunteers helping forest service and firefighters in making progress against Magpie Fire

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The Magpie wildfire now covers more than 5,0000 acres of land…and it continues to spread.

Approximately, 60%  of the fire is in McKenzie County and 40% in Billings County.

Multiple campgrounds are closed including the Maah Daah Hey Trail from the Bennett Campground to the Elkhorn Campground.

However, the U.S. Forest Service said multiple agencies have worked together in making progress against this fire.

“Today we have had some successful operations and we have been able to contain alot of the western side of the fire . . . . One of the reasons its been successful is firefighters have been able to work together to put in the dozer roads,”  said Rob Schilling, Initial incident commander, U.S. Forest Service.

The dozer roads have allowed the firefighters to gain access to the rural areas, so they can fight the fire more effectively and safely.

Many volunteers who are not affiliated with any fire department or  forestry service showed at the North End of the Magpie Fire .  They are from McKenzie County and other counties offering support in their spare time.

” I got here at about  8am yesterday morning took about a three hour nap last night. Went home and showered this morning and took about a two hour nap and came back,” said Carson Hartwig, Volunteer from Wartford City

Hartwig also said the place has special meaning to him and other people, and he doesn’t want to see it “burn up”.

Many of the volunteers have been helping out in any way they can, even delivering food to their husbands who are fighting the fire.

” Drinks, Gatorade, chapstick. You name it. Anything they need down there,” said Stephanie Scofield

The fire is about is 15% contained, but safety is the main priority right now.

“Our concerns right now is that we keep the public and the firefighters out here safe. They are working in a lot of hot and dry dusty conditions, and a lot of these firefighters have traveled from multiple states to get here. So cumulative fatigue is always big on our minds, ” said Schilling.

At this time the fire has caused no structural damage in the area, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
   

 

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