Agricultural crop burning

Agricultural crop burning is an effective method for clearing fields but requires prudent planning. Before proceeding with an agricultural burn, familiarize yourself on the conditions and safety requirements that are required to comply with the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality’s open burn laws.

Here are a few more steps you can take to make sure your agricultural burn is in compliance with state law:

  • Check the Weather
    • You are not permitted to open burn during burn bans or red flag warnings. Keep an eye out for a change in weather conditions.
  • Know What You Can’t Do
    • No public nuisances can be created as a result of an open burn. No occupied buildings can be impacted by air contaminants resulting from burning. No traffic hazards can be created. Agricultural burns must always be attended and supervised.
  • Contact Local Authorities
    • Contact your local fire and police department to make them aware of your burn in case they receive smoke reports from residents.

Summer Safety

Summer is a time for campfires, barbeques, and fireworks. It can also be a time of extreme fire danger. The information provided here will ensure that you and your family are able to safely enjoy the season. 
Fireworks can be legally sold June 27th thru July 5th (NDCC 23-15-01). Check with local emergency management authorities to find out about what laws may apply in your area. Many cities do not allow fireworks to be put off within city limits. Citizens are asked to properly dispose of their used fireworks as well as an accompanying packaging.
Check with local officials to find out if your county has a burn ban. A burn ban would prohibit the use of fireworks.

According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA):

  • Annually just under 10,000 Americans are injured by fireworks and almost 5,000 are injured by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires.
  • In 2007, 64 percent of fireworks injuries occurred between June 22 and July 22.
  • Many families enjoy camping in the summer. It is important to follow the park's rules for the use and extinguishing of campfires.

Summertime should be a time for fun and making happy memories. Knowing a few fire safety tips and following instructions will help everyone have a safe summer.

Fireworks Safety

The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by professionals who know how to safely handle fireworks. 

If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area. 

Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass. 

Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly. 

Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks. 

Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it. 

Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. If a device is not marked with the contents, direction, and a warning label, do not light it. 

Supervise children around fireworks at all times.

Barbecue Safety

Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line. Make sure the venturi tubes - where the air and gas mix - are not blocked. 

Do not overfill the propane tank. 

Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue. 

Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flame can flashback up into the container and explode. 

Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills. 

Dispose of hot coals properly - douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers. 

Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced. 

Make sure everyone knows to stop, drop and roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 or your local emergency number if a burn warrants serious medical attention.

Campfire Safety

Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves. 

Keep campfires small, and don't let them get out of hand. 

Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to douse the fire when you're done. Stir it and douse it again with water. 

Never leave campfires unattended.

Wildfire Danger Awareness

North Dakota records approximately 1,800 fire incidents each year. Fires within the state are classified as urban fires or wildland fires. Major causes of urban fires include electrically related structural and vehicle fires, incendiary-arson, unattended cooking fires, smoking materials, heating devices, fuel systems, sparks, hazardous material spills, and spontaneous combustion.

Major sources of wildland fires include lightning, inadequate measures for controlled burns, smoking, and sparks from farm machinery and trains. Fires in areas of high fuel content, if not quickly detected and suppressed, can rapidly flare out of control, threaten lives and cause major damage to habitat, crops, livestock, wildlife, and structural property.

Local (city/county/tribal) jurisdictions may institute burn bans, in accordance with the fire danger index, if conditions require. Contact your local emergency manager to inquire about the status of fire restrictions that may be in place.

Additional Resources