Caution urged for controlled burns
By Annette Tait
Even with the recent snow melt, there is plenty of dry fuel ready to take off given any opportunity. A controlled burn that threatened to get out of hand was one of the first instances this season, calling out the Oliver Rural Fire Protection District to make sure the situation remained under control.
“The department back-burned around the hay bales the farmer was burning, to prevent the fire from spreading,” Fire Chief Kenny Rude said.
Before igniting a controlled burn, landowners are urged to check the fire rating, observe safety and weather conditions, and to notify the Mercer County Dispatch Center, 701-745-3333, which dispatches Oliver County fire, law enforcement, and ambulance services. The dispatch office asks that all controlled burns be reported both before the fire is started and again after the fire has been fully extinguished. As a courtesy, neighbors should be alerted so they don’t call 911 when they see smoke rising from an adjacent property.