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  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post North Dakota 2005

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Firefighters continued to put out hot
    spots and worried about high winds Saturday after a grass fire
    scorched a 6-mile-long swath near Wilton, injuring three
    firefighters.
    Mark Keller was listed in critical condition Saturday at Regions
    Burn Center in St. Paul, Minn., a nursing supervisor said.
    Geremy Olson suffered burns and a broken leg and James Meyers
    suffered burns to his face, Wilton Fire Chief J.D. YoungBird said.
    YoungBird said the men were stranded when the wind switched
    direction and their truck stalled while fighting the fire Friday.
    The men were engulfed by flames but were pulled out of the blaze by
    other firefighters, he said.
    "They were being careful - but the wind was so unpredictable,"
    YoungBird said. "We all did what we were supposed to do."
    A spokesman for Medcenter One hospital in Bismarck said Meyers
    was listed in good condition Saturday. A spokeswoman for St.
    Alexius Medical Center declined to release Olson's condition.
    YoungBird said he spoke with Olson and Meyers Saturday morning.
    "They were in good spirits," he said.
    Keller also is a deputy with the Burleigh County Sheriff's
    Department. Sheriff Steve Berg said he spoke with Keller's wife,
    Michelle, on Saturday.
    "She said he was coherent and able to talk and was doing about
    as well as what could be expected, under the circumstances," Berg
    said.
    The fire started from a smoldering woodpile southwest of Wilton,
    YoungBird said. Wind gusts of up to 40 mph pushed the mile-wide
    fire north, he said.
    The National Weather Service in Bismarck canceled a wind
    advisory Friday night, when winds dipped below 30 mph.
    Firefighters continued to put out patches of fire through the
    night and into Saturday, YoungBird said.
    Wind gusts hit 40 mph in the area again Saturday afternoon,
    worrying firefighters, YoungBird said.
    "The wind is picking up and it's a big concern to us," he
    said.
    Assistant fire chief Jeremy Birdsell said embers were still
    being doused along some tree groves in the area late Saturday
    afternoon.
    Janine Vining, a National Weather Service meteorologist in
    Bismarck, said winds were expected to gradually decrease overnight
    on Saturday.

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


  2. #2
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post

    Reservation grass fire probe leads to juvenile arrests
    bnfonspm
    By BLAKE NICHOLSON
    Associated Press Writer
    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Four juveniles have been referred to the
    courts as arson suspects, after an investigation into grass fires
    on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation.
    One official says the probe was the first of its kind on a North
    Dakota reservation, but likely not the last.
    In the first four months of the year, the Turtle Mountain
    reservation had 150 grass fires, burning an estimated 1,300 acres
    of land.
    A task force of wildfire management officials conducted an
    investigation in April, at the request of the Bureau of Indian
    Affairs, said Colleen Reinke, a fire prevention specialist for the
    North Dakota Forest Service.
    "The BIA had identified a problem ... but they didn't have good
    information on what was causing the fires," Reinke said.
    The task force, made up of people who are certified through the
    National Wildfire Coordinating Group, determined that many of the
    fires result from trash or field burning that escapes control, and
    that most of the fires occur on weekends.
    One of the main recommendations of the task force is for the
    tribe to improve the permitting process for burning and to do more
    to educate people on how to burn safely.
    Turtle Mountain Police Chief Rod Trottier said the reservation
    has grass fires in the spring and fall, on grass lands and in
    wooded areas.
    "We have a history of ... adults burning trash and it gets away
    from them, and kids set (fires)," he said.
    Reinke said that in some of this year's fires, children were
    playing with matches and in others, older juveniles started fires.
    No adults were charged in the fires, which officials said did
    not cause any injuries.
    Rolette County Deputy Sheriff Melvin Frank said two of the
    juvenile suspects were referred to the state court system because
    the fires started on state land.
    Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa prosecutor William Marcellais
    said two other juveniles were being handled through the tribal
    court system.
    Reinke said the BIA will use the information gathered by the
    task force in fire education and prevention efforts. The tribe also
    has started a program for people to call in anonymous tips to law
    enforcement officials.
    The task force included Reinke; a retired Bureau of Land
    Management fire official from Oregon; two BIA investigators from
    South Dakota; and two wildfire management trainees, from Belcourt
    and Wyoming.
    "This is the first time that I'm aware of that a fire
    prevention task force has been used on a reservation in North
    Dakota," Reinke said.
    Another task force likely will be convened next year, though
    Reinke was not sure on which reservation. "It might be on
    several," she said.

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  3. #3
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Update

    Severely burned Wilton firefighter back home

    WILTON, N.D. (AP) - Wilton firefighter Mark Keller has spent
    nearly two months in a Minnesota burn hospital. Now he's back home,
    and happy to be there.
    Keller was severely burned in an April 8th grass fire near
    Wilton. He was greeted at the Bismarck airport yesterday with
    applause from relatives and friends who came to welcome him home.
    Keller says he's excited to be back, and he was surprised at the
    number of people who came to the airport to meet him.
    Among them were his boss, Burleigh County Sheriff Steve Berg,
    and fellow Wilton firefighters Geremy Olson and James Meyer, who
    also were injured when the grass fire engulfed their vehicle.
    Olson broke his right leg jumping off the vehicle. He says he's
    walking now, and he says both he and Keller are doing better than
    expected.
    Keller's wife, Michelle, says he'll start therapy today at St.
    Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck.

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

    APTV 06-06-05 0823EDT
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  4. #4
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Update

    Welcome back Mark....be safe!

    Severely burned deputy back on the job
    WILTON, N.D. (AP) - A Burleigh County deputy who was severely
    burned fighting an April 8 grass fire near here was back on the job
    Wednesday.
    Mark Keller, who also is a firefighter, is doing light duty,
    working a couple of half-days a week with the sheriff's department.
    Doctors said his return is about nine months sooner than they
    expected.
    Keller spent two months at a Minneapolis-area hospital after
    suffering second- and third-degree burns while fighting the fire.
    He is still recovering, but has been back out on the firing range
    practicing shooting.
    Keller credits his determination and all the support he has
    received from others.
    Keller was one of three firefighters injured when they were
    surrounded by fire and their truck stalled while they were battling
    the grass fire.

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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