Fire forces evacuation of The Village
By Jerry W. Kram
The true meaning of a Red Flag Warning became obvious as a large wildfire blackened the hillsides along North Dakota Highway 23 this weekend and forced the evacuation of Four Bears Village.
According to New Town Fire Chief John DeGroot, the fire started on Saturday, April 9 just west of Four Bears Village. The fire blackened about 164 acres and was stopped just short of the Rezco facility.
DeGroot said firefighters from Keene and the Three Affiliated Tribes Fire Department also responded to the blaze.
"Colin Haddeland also brought his equipment out there," DeGroot said. "It got pretty close to a couple of buildings. Some folks had fire right in their front yards. We’ve had fires like this before. When there is a red flag warning and pretty windy it can be scary. The fire moves a lot faster than you can."
The Three Affiliated Tribes Law Enforcement and other departments helped with traffic control when the highway was closed and coordinated the evacuation of The Village. Residents were evacuated to the 4 Bears Casino Event Center.
"It was headed towards the Village so we evacuated just to be safe," DeGroot said. "It went pretty good."