The Morton County Parks and Recreation Department has lifted the campfire ban in Morton County Parks and will now follow the Morton County Fire Emergency and Burn Ban guidelines, which took effect on May 4.
The ban is in effect when the North Dakota Rangeland Fire Danger Rating is in the high, very high or extreme category as well as when a red flag warning has been issued for Morton County.
“While we have lifted the ban on campfires, we still ask people to be diligent and take precautions to avoid unintentional fires,” said Parks Director Tim Nilsen. “Only light your campfire when you are ready to use it for cooking or for warmth, and if you start a campfire, keep it under control and make certain it is extinguished completely before you leave the site.”
Under the county burn ban, any burning within the restricted area is considered a Class B misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine.
The county's action took place as scattered, severe thunderstorms moved into the area on Thursday. A total of 2 inches of rain may fall through Friday, according to the National Weather Service in Bismarck.
Heavy rain could alleviate the moderate drought that 46 percent of the state has been experiencing in the past week, according to data from the U.S. Drought Monitor.