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Theodore Roosevelt National Park carries out prescribed fire

A firefighter uses a drip torch to ignite a fire at Theodore Roosevelt National Park on Friday. The National Park Service performed controlled burns on approximately 2,500 acres in the park’s South Unit near Medora, N.D. Katherine Lymn/Dickinson Press1 / 4
A firefighter monitors a fire along a roadway that goes through Theodore Roosevelt National Park on Friday. The National Park Service performed controlled burns on approximately 2,500 acres in the park’s South Unit near Medora, N.D. Katherine Lymn/Dickinson Press2 / 4
A a fire consumes the grassland along the hills in Theodore Roosevelt National Park on Friday. The National Park Service performed controlled burns on approximately 2,500 acres in the park’s South Unit near Medora, N.D. Katherine Lymn/Dickinson Press3 / 4
A a fire consumes the grassland and shrubbery along the hills in Theodore Roosevelt National Park on Friday. The National Park Service performed controlled burns on approximately 2,500 acres in the park’s South Unit near Medora, N.D. Katherine Lymn/Dickinson Press4 / 4

MEDORA, N.D. -- If it wasn’t planned, visitors in Theodore Roosevelt National Park would have thought it was under attack.

But the National Park Service carried out a controlled burn Friday on about 2,500 acres in the park’s South Unit.

The wedge-shaped burn unit, about halfway through the unit’s scenic loop, is east of Wind Canyon and north of the Jones Creek Trail.

“We got a good patchy burn and that’s what we wanted,” Chief of Resource Management Bill Whitworth said.

About 35 firefighters either monitored or ignited the fire with drip torches and flare guns for most of the day.

“It’s a mix of unleaded gasoline and diesel, which gives it a little bit of a stickiness to it so it doesn’t burn as fast as straight gasoline,” Whitworth said of the drip torches. The pistols were used to shoot flares down steep drainages.

The burns are performed periodically to restore fire to areas that have historically been subjected to natural wildfire.

 
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