MEDORA, N.D. — Shortly after 1 p.m. MDT, the Medora command center and firefighters were pleased to report 100% containment and an estimated 2,276 acres burned in the wildfire lasting 5 days surrounding North Dakota's western tourism capital.
While there were no injuries or structural damage resulting from the inferno to the town, many braced for the very worst as flames drew increasingly closer to the heart of Medora, with initial estimates on day 1 neared 10,000 acres.
By sunrise on the second day the command center in Medora had adjusted estimates to approximately 3,000 acres, and reported approximately 50% containment. The fight on the ground kept containment hovering around half for three additional days, lasting from Friday through Monday.
"This could not have been accomplished without the swift and organized cooperation from all partners," a statement concerning the complete containment read. "The area affected by the wildfire remains closed at this time for public health and safety. This includes the Buffalo Gap Trail from I-94 southeast to its intersection with the Maah Daah Hey Trail, and the Maah Daah Hey Trail from the National Park Boundary south to Sully Creek State Park."
High and very high fire danger continues through all parts of North Dakota, and near critical fire weather is expected across the state, with Red Flag warnings in effect for south central North Dakota.
"Residents are reminded to be vigilant and cooperative as responders battle these wildfires. 90% of wildfires are caused by humans, so always be cognizant of your activities outside and their potential for starting fires," a North Dakota Forest Service statement read. "Everyone will need to be involved to prevent wildfires this season."
Eight separate counties in the state have witnessed expansive wildfires since April 1, with the city of Dickinson experiencing two significant drought related fires on Friday and Saturday that claimed hundreds of acres.
For information on how to prevent wildfires, or to view maps showing current burn ban restrictions and fire danger levels, visit www.ndresponse.gov.
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