Morton County authorities have charged a man with starting a fire upwind of a Mandan housing development on a day when wind gusts reached 20 mph.
Dallas Lang, 40, of Mandan, was arrested Friday afternoon. He is accused of starting a fire north of Third Street Southeast, east of 11th Street Southeast and about the distance of a football field south of Meadowlands Park, according to a police affidavit. The fire did not reach the homes.
Police and firefighters responded to the area about 1:30 p.m. Lang was at the scene when officials arrived. He told police he started the fire to stay warm the night before but insisted that he had extinguished it.
Firefighters in October and November 2020 responded to three fires that Lang started but could not put out, the affidavit states.
Morton County commissioners on Thursday declared a ban on open burning because of drought in the area.
Lang made his initial court appearance Monday. He is charged with felony endangering by fire and misdemeanors for failure to report a fire, setting a prairie fire, criminal mischief, failure to extinguish a fire and disorderly conduct. An attorney isn’t listed for him in court records.