March 9, 2021


By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Coming off an extremely dry fall and virtually no snow this winter, it should be no surprise that last week the McKenzie County Board of County Commissioners enacted the earliest burn ban in the county’s history.
With the lack of moisture, to say that the countryside is dry would be a tremendous understatement. In fact so far this spring, area fire departments have already responded to several grass fires.
The reason for the burn ban is simple. No one wants to see fires wipe out pastures and crops or destroy personal property.
As enacted, on Red Flag Days when there are high winds on top of dry conditions, or at any other time when conditions result in high or extremely high fire danger, the burn ban prohibits fireworks, campfires, garbage burning, the burning of farm or cropland and unnecessary off-road travel.
On those days when the fire danger is in the low or moderate category, the county will allow burning if a person or business has obtained a burn permit issued by the Upper Missouri District Health Unit once the local fire response authority has approved the permit.
Hopefully, Mother Nature will cooperate this year and bless the county and all of western North Dakota with some timely, and much-needed rains that will help keep the fire danger low. But in the event that dry conditions persist, the last thing that anyone wants is to be responsible for causing a fire that has the capability of damaging crops, pastures, or someone’s personal property.
Sooner or later, the countryside is going to start greening up. But even then, green grass or pastures doesn’t mean that the fire danger can’t be in the high or extremely high levels. If you are thinking about burning, even if you have a permit, it is best to check the daily fire index that is posted on the McKenzie County Emergency Management Facebook page.
By using a little common sense, we can all do our part to lessen the chance of a controlled fire turning into something really bad.


Our best wishes go out this week to the Watford City Wolves girls basketball team on their upcoming trip to the State Class A Tournament in Bismarck.
The Wolves have had a tremendous season so far after going 16-4 in the regular season and finishing in second place at the WDA Tournament to make it to state in Class A for the first time in the school’s history.
Watford City had great success at state while competing at the Class B level and they now have their chance to showcase their talent at the Class A level.
Go Wolves!