Rural Dickinson grassland catches fire WednesdaySmoke filled the sky Wednesday as Dickinson area firefighters tried to access a fire five miles east of the city.
Smoke filled the sky Wednesday as Dickinson area firefighters tried to access a fire five miles east of the city.
The Dickinson Rural, Gladstone, South Heart and Taylor fire departments responded to the fire at approximately 4 p.m. Firefighters had the fire under control at about 7:30 p.m., DRFD Chief Andy Paulson said, adding that staff was staying on-scene to observe it. At 10 p.m., they were still monitoring the situation.
Stark County Road Superintendent Al Heiser and MBI Energy sent trucks to haul water to the scene. Dickinson Ambulance Service was on standby.
Officials were not able to confirm how the fire started but roughly estimated between 300 and 400 acres were destroyed. No injuries were confirmed, Bill Fahlsing said.
The fire jumped Interstate 94, which was temporarily closed from Exit 68 to mile marker 72 at about 5:45 p.m., Fahlsing added. The Dickinson Police Department, Stark County Sheriff’s Department, and North Dakota Highway Patrol directed traffic to Highway 10 until it reopened at approximately 6:20 p.m.
Dustin Moore, who lives east of Dickinson, went with family members to help with a fire truck that became stuck in a ditch while trying to reach the fire.
“The plan was to get to the interstate from there,” Moore said. “We had to bring a tractor to get it out.”
He said other people came with pickups and were able to free the fire truck within about 10 minutes.
More than 50 evacuation notices were sent to residents north of Highway 10, Fahlsing said. He did not know if anyone had evacuated.
Fahlsing added the fire danger index was high. A red flag warning is in effect for western North Dakota until Thursday evening.
Press reporter Ashley Martin contributed to this report.