Severely dry conditions have increased the risk of wildfires in much of the state.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Officials say at least 268 rural wildfires have been reported in North Dakota this year, which has put stress on volunteer firefighters.

Director of Homeland Security Greg Wilz tells the Bismarck Tribune that state may consider the possibility of stipends for rural volunteer firefighters who are sometimes responding to multiple blazes daily.

Severely dry conditions have increased the risk of wildfires in much of the state.

Wilz says more than half of the wildfires this year have occurred in July. He says the top causes of the fires reported are from farming equipment and lightning strikes.