Man suffers burns, car crash occurs due to blaze south of DickinsonA grass and field fire that reached five miles east from Highway 22 Monday left one man hospitalized, caused an automobile accident and drew manpower from four fire departments, area officials said.
By: Dain Sullivan, The Dickinson Press
A grass and field fire that reached five miles east from Highway 22 Monday left one man hospitalized, caused an automobile accident and drew manpower from four fire departments, area officials said.
Christine Biel, clinical coordinator at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson, said a man being treated for burns had not been released as of 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Hettinger County Emergency Manager Ilene Hardmeyer added that low visibility, resulting from billowing smoke, was the cause of a vehicle accident. It is unknown if anyone was injured in that incident.
The fire occurred about 15 miles south of Dickinson near the Hettinger and Stark County line. With billowing smoke visible from Dickinson, the fire reached five miles from the west side of Highway 22 east, Hardmeyer said.
Hardmeyer added that the fire sparked from a stump that was burned in a controlled brush fire more than a week ago.
“(The fire) went quite far,” Hardmeyer said. “It was not a pretty one.”
The blaze required the services of the New England, Gladstone, Dickinson Rural and Regent fire departments, Hardmeyer added.
Hettinger Sheriff’s Department and ambulance crews were also on scene.
“We were in the middle of trying to call the Forest Service,” she said.
The fire traveled about 100 yards outside of an unfinished home, while firefighters frantically cut through barbed wire so water trucks could keep up with flames.
Hettinger County Sheriff Sarah Warner said firefighters were still working to douse flames at about 7 p.m. Monday
Dan Binstock, who works for the farmer who he said initiated the controlled fire that later reignited, said he and three other employees rushed to help firefighters put out the fire at about 2 p.m. Monday.
Binstock believes the fire sparked as a result of dry and windy conditions in the area.
“With this big wind, it fueled her back up,” he said.
Most of southwest North Dakota is under a red flag warning due to windy and dry conditions.