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Wildfire Potential High in Spring

Outdoor enthusiasts need to be aware of ground conditions while enjoying spring activities.

As outdoor activity increases in spring, so does the risk of wildfires. An increase in human outdoor activity, combined with dead ground vegetation and high winds, make this time of year highly susceptible to wildfires.

Because of highly variable weather patterns, North Dakota experiences a distinct spring fire season every year. With that in mind, it’s important to pay attention to the fire danger index, and to follow the appropriate measures.

Hunters and anglers are urged to keep up with the daily rural fire danger index, issued by the National Weather Service, to alert the public to conditions that may be conducive to accidental starting or spread of fires.

In addition, county governments have the authority to adopt penalties for violations of county restrictions related to burning bans. These restrictions apply regardless of the daily fire danger index and remain in place until each county’s commission rescinds the ban.

The fire danger index can change daily depending on temperature, wind and precipitation forecasts. If the index reaches the extreme category, open burning is prohibited; off-road travel with a motorized vehicle is prohibited, except for people engaged in a trade, business or occupation where it is required; and smoking is restricted to inside of vehicles, homes or in approved buildings and on hard surfaces.

Information on current fire danger indexes is available at NDResponse.gov.