Firefighters Warn Against Open Burning during Dry Weather Days

Cass County scored "very high" on the ND Wildland Fire Danger Guide on Wednesday

WEST FARGO, N.D. —¬†On days like today where the air is dry and the wind is heavy, simply putting a cigarette in a flower pot could end in disaster for your home.

“It’s a soil mixed with compost so there’s still organic matter in there and it’s dry. You put that cigarette out, it will burn, smolder until it gets to the outside of the pot, the pot’s plastic, and then it will take off. The pot burns, gets into the siding, the siding burns, then the fire goes up to your attic and then we have a house fire,” said Chief Dan Fuller of the West Fargo Fire Department.

In addition to properly extinguishing cigarettes, the West Fargo Fire Department also recommends avoiding open burning activities during high risk fire days.

The North Dakota Wildland Fire Danger Guide ranges from low to extreme. When a county falls on the higher end of the scale, activities like burning garbage and fields could lead to some fines.

“Probably would be the most efficient means for them to do it because its going to burn quick, but there’s no guarantee we can stop that once it gets through their field,” said Fuller.

These preventable fires could easily spread to residential neighborhoods or shelter belts. Fuller says people need to be aware of how to properly dispose of their cigarettes or garbage on drier days.

“If you’re smoking on your deck, don’t throw the cigarette down into the grass. Make sure you’re putting it out in water or dry sand. It works for every residential occupancy in town,” said Fuller.

These small measures can go a long way to keeping the homes of West Fargo safe during the dry weather.

The Fire Danger Index is issued by the National Weather Service. On days where the scale falls under “Extreme”, potential for large fires exist, and the area would be more vulnerable to extreme fire behavior and critical burning conditions.

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