Posted 7/18/17 (Tue)
By Neal A. Shipman
Thanks to the quick response by volunteer firemen from across McKenzie County, as well as other volunteer fire departments, and a timely rain of over an inch, a massive fire that burned over 5,400 acres in the North Dakota Badlands south of Grassy Butte has been virtually contained.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the agency was first notified of a report of smoke in the area of the Magpie campground, which is located on the Medora Ranger District of the Dakota Prairie Grasslands at approximately 4:30 p.m. (CST) on Saturday, July 8.
When U.S. Forest Service fire crews took control of the fire on Tuesday, July 12, local volunteer fire fighters had the blaze 40 percent contained.
“The response to this fire call was immediate from the volunteer fire departments in Billings and McKenzie counties,” stated Shannon Boehm, Medora Ranger District district ranger, during a community meeting at the Grassy Butte Community Center last Wednesday evening. “We are very impressed by everyone who worked to bracket the fire in. You boxed in the fire and kudos to you for that.”
Fire crews from Grassy Butte, Watford City, Arnegard, as well as crews from the U.S. Forest Service and Billings and Dunn counties, responded to the Magpie fire call between 3 and 4 p.m. on July 8 and battled the blaze in some of the most remote and inaccessible areas of the badlands.
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