The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is prohibiting open burning this spring on property managed south of Bismarck and Mandan, as a means to reduce potential for wildfires on a heavily wooded recreation area along the Missouri River.
Bill Haase, wildlife resource management supervisor for Game and Fish, said all open burning, including campfires, is banned until further notice on the Oahe Wildlife Management Area along both sides of the Missouri River. While the use of portable propane grills is allowed, extreme caution is advised because the area is heavily vegetated.
Haase said these woodlands are prone to wildfires before spring green-up. Mild temperatures and a high fuel load in the river bottoms are a cause for concern, he said, in addition to being a high use area for anglers, campers and other outdoor recreationists.
In addition to Oahe WMA, surrounding areas included in the open burn ban include General Sibley Park, East Sibley Park, Kimball Bottoms and MacLean Bottoms managed by the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District; Kimball Bottoms Off Highway Vehicle Area managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and Little Heart Bottoms and Graner Park managed by Morton County Parks.
Oahe WMA covers more than 16,000 acres along Lake Oahe south of Bismarck-Mandan, in portions of Burleigh, Emmons and Morton counties. Burning restriction signs are posted at all entrances to the WMA.