As I write this article, North Dakota is ripe for wildfires again today.

Temps in the low 90's, low humidity and very windy conditions.  Same ol' story for much of the last month.  North Dakota is experiencing some of the driest conditions in the last 127 years of record keeping.  Let that sink in for a minute.  We really haven't seen significant moisture since the fall of 2019.

According to the an email obtained from North Dakota State Forest Service, we've burned nearly 1,400 fires and have scorched more than 100,000 acres across the state since January 2021. That total, which is the equivalent of about 156 square miles.  Compare that to 2020 where we burned 11,956 acres with 921 fires.  That's a dramatic increase.  Most of the fires last year and this year were the result of human neglect.

Limited moisture along with warm temperatures have increased the intensity and size of wildfires this year, according to State Forester Tom Claeys.  According to the National Weather Service in Bismarck the forecast for the rest of the summer isn't what the doctor ordered.  Above average temps and below normal precipitation is predicted for North Dakota for the rest of the summer.

The North Dakota State Forest Service has these tips to avoid wildfires.

Avoid or postpone burning.  Make sure to dispose of cigarettes properly.  Use caution with outdoor equipment.  While pulling a camper, boat or trailer, remember to cross your tow chains and never park on tall, dry grass.  If you are in an area that allows recreational fires, never leave them unattended and be sure to put them out completely.  Remember to follow all burn bans.

We need rain in the worst way.  Maybe we should all go out and wash our cars?


 

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