North Dakota Forest Service


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North Dakotans Can Help Prevent Wildfires, Keep Beaches Clean During Memorial Day Weekend

As families prepare to enjoy North Dakota’s outdoor destinations over the Memorial Day weekend, residents and visitors are encouraged to recreate responsibly by practicing fire safety and prevention. While recent moisture has provided some relief from fire starts over the past few weeks, it is still dry in some areas of the state.

Campers should always “know before you go,” and are encouraged to verify if campfires are permitted at the destination they are visiting. In all North Dakota state parks, fires must be contained in designated fire rings. Remember to practice these safety tips:

  • Keep your fire small, and never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Be sure that pets and children are supervised near any campfire.
  • It is important to keep a shovel and bucket of water nearby to properly extinguish the fire.
  • If possible, allow the wood to burn completely to ash when you are finished enjoying your fire.
  • Pour water over all embers—not just the red ones—until the hissing sound stops.
  • Then, stir with a shovel. Continue pouring water and stirring with a shovel until the fire is completely extinguished.
  • Use the back of your hand to feel the heat of the fire embers.

CampfireRemember, if it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.

To view current fire restrictions by county, visit or contact their local emergency management office. Some burn bans also are determined by the fire danger rating and/or red flag warnings for a particular area. The fire danger rating is issued daily and can be found at

The Department of Water Resources would also like to remind citizens to please “Keep Your Beaches Clean.” “Keep Your Beaches Clean” is an ongoing public awareness campaign that was first introduced by the State Water Commission in 2013 to educate North Dakotans about laws on sovereign lands. Sovereign lands are publicly owned lands that include the beds and islands lying within the ordinary high watermarks of navigable lakes and streams.

These efforts are meant to help reduce littering and glass container violations on public beaches and sandbars throughout the state, particularly along the Missouri River. Signs are posted at numerous access points along the Missouri River to make the public aware of possible consequences for these violations, including a $100 fine for glass containers, a $250 fine for littering and a $100 fine for illegal motorized vehicle use.

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