North Dakota Forest Service


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North Dakota Forest Service Sends Firefighting Resources to Kansas

4/6/2023 - With the seemingly endless winter North Dakota has had, it can be hard to imagine wildfire on the landscape. However, as that snow starts to melt and dead grasses quickly dry, wildfire prevention should still be on the minds of North Dakotans. In the state of Kansas, wildfire season has already begun. Through an interstate agreement, the North Dakota Forest Service (NDFS) has dispatched firetrucks and wildland firefighting staff to assist our southern neighbor.

Crews from the Kansas City metro area, South Dakota and North Dakota began gathering at the Abilene fire station Tuesday morning. In the last week, fuels have dried out tremendously across the state of Kansas. Couple that with expected high winds and low humidity, and you get extremely high fire danger. In these conditions, any spark can become an out-of-control fire in just a few minutes.

Like North Dakota, much of the wildland firefighting falls on local fire departments. In the event of major fires or fire danger that requires assistance beyond normal mutual aid, the Kansas Forest Service locates and dispatches resources to help. The Kansas Forest Service started preparing for these high fire danger conditions ahead of time, calling in extra help from out of state and pre-positioning fire crews all across Kansas.

North Dakota, Kansas, and others are members of the Great Plains Interstate Fire Compact. Through this agreement, compact members can call on agencies within the states of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and the Province of Saskatchewan for assistance in wildfire prevention, suppression, and control.

Within just a few hours, the North Dakota Forest Service was able to dispatch resources to Kansas, knowing well how valuable these partner resources can be. Since 2006, the Great Plains Compact has been a vital part of wildfire response for the member states. Just last year, the NDFS assisted New Mexico, providing resources to combat their historic fire year in 2022. North Dakota was on the receiving end of this compact during the unprecedented wildfire season of 2021, bringing in partners from South Dakota, Colorado, and Kansas to help with wildfire suppression across North Dakota. These partners were instrumental in protecting life, property, and natural resources on the landscape.




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