A Warm Week Brings more Grass Fires

Bismarck, ND - This week's warm and windy weather has sparked more grass fires.

With this year's drought, it has been a busy year for firefighters. But recent rain might have helped create more fuel for fires this fall.

The summer is over, but this week, firefighters can't tell the difference.

"The conditions are almost as bad now as they were in June," Mandan Rural Fire Chief Lynn Gustin said.

"You get these 70-80 degree days with the wind and low humidity, a lot of fuel out there that can go again," he said.

That fuel caught fire south of Mandan Tuesday afternoon.

"It was tough to get out."

The grass fire burnt about 25 acres. It was the latest in a busy year for firefighters.

"We've seen sunflower fields burn, corn fields burn, anything. A lot of hay being moved through the area," Gustin said.

That was seen on I-94 on Tuesday when a truck transporting hay caught fire and shut down the west bound lanes near Dickinson.

"Some of our friends to the west had a lot more fires than we had," Gustin said.

A rapidly spreading drought this summer helped spark a number of fires earlier this year.

Like one near Grassy Butte covering nearly 5,000 acres of land. Another in Beulah burnt 1,000 acres.

Then, we finally got some rain.

"We had a lot of moisture in august and had a lot of regrowth but with the frost everything is dying off," Gustin said.

dying And ready to burn again with this week's weather.

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