Wildfire in Theodore Roosevelt National Park Triples in Size

Tankers from South Dakota fly in to fight the fire

 

A wildfire smolders near the Burning Hills Amphitheatre Thursday, April 1, 2021 near Medora, N.D. Officials say firefighters have stopped a wildfire from spreading in the western North Dakota tourist town of Medora, where its 100 residents were forced to evacuate. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

 

MEDORA, N.D. (AP) — Firefighters worked Monday to further contain a wildfire in Theodore Roosevelt National Park that tripled in size on Easter, according to the North Dakota Forest Service.

Crews worked through the night in the park’s North Unit, where the fire threatens some park staff housing, maintenance buildings and the CCC Campground, according to the Forest Service’s acting outreach and education manager, Beth Hill.

See also  October 2018 National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook

The North Unit remained closed Monday, Hill said. High winds and dangerously dry conditions fueled the fire Sunday, when it grew to nearly 4.7 square miles (12 square kilometers) and was 30% contained.

“This fire is particularly difficult because of the rough, inaccessible terrain,” Hill said.

Two air tankers were brought in from South Dakota over the weekend to help.

In the park’s South Unit — where residents of the small tourist town of Medora were evacuated last week — the outlook is better. Firefighters were working to completely extinguish that fire Monday or Tuesday, according to Hill. No structural damage was reported in that fire, which burned 3.5 square miles (9 square kilometers).

See also  Largest of 28 Nevada Wildfires Contained at 10 Square Miles

Along with a red flag warning for critical fire weather conditions in the western half of North Dakota, record high temperatures in the 70s and 80s were reported over the weekend.

Wildfires have burned more than nearly 47 square miles (121 square kilometers) in North Dakota already this spring, compared with fewer than 15.6 square miles (40 square kilometers) in all of last year.

Nearly all counties have implemented some form of outdoors burning restrictions. All counties on Sunday were either in the “high” or “very high” fire danger category. Gov. Doug Burgum has warned that the state is headed into a “tough fire season.”

See also  Better Weather Should Aid Oklahoma Wildfire Fight

All contents © copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Topics

Tankers from South Dakota fly in to fight the fire     MEDORA, N.D. (AP) — Firefighters worked Monday to further contain a wildfire in Theodore Roosevelt National Park that tripled in size on Easter, according to the North Dakota Forest Service. Crews worked through the night in the park’s North Unit, where the fire […]

Get The Wildland Firefighter Newsletter

Related Articles

Western Flames Spread, CA Sees Its Largest 2022 Fire

Western Flames Spread, CA Sees Its Largest 2022 Fire

By NOAH BERGER Associated Press YREKA, Calif. (AP) — Crews battling the largest wildfire so far this year in California braced for thunderstorms and hot, windy conditions that created the potential for additional fire growth Sunday as they sought to protect remote...

Chief: Bottle-Magnified Sunlight Ignited Possum Kingdom (TX) Fire

Chief: Bottle-Magnified Sunlight Ignited Possum Kingdom (TX) Fire

By TERRY WALLACE Associated Press Sunlight magnified by glass bottles in an open garbage can ignited paper trash, starting a 500-acre (200-hectare) North Texas wildfire that destroyed five homes, fire officials said Thursday. The July 18 fire on Possum Kingdom Lake's...