Spirit Lake Reservation fire contained, residents allowed to return to area with caution
UPDATE: The Sprit Lake Fire Department announced via Facebook, as of 1:16 a.m., that the fire has been contained and that residents and the area may return. The department recommended that residents be prepared to leave if the threat of fire returns.
Monday night the Spirit Lake Fire Department posted via Facebook for residents to avoid the area of the reservation between BIA 20 and BIA 21, and eastward towards Spring Lake due to a large fire the department is working on controlling.
Residents who have been displaced by the fire are encouraged to move to Fort Totten Recreation Center. The department added that all residents in the area should be prepared to evacuate.
The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for counties in western Minnesota and eastern North Dakota, including Benson, Ramsey, Towner, Nelson, and Eddy Counties, until 1 a.m. Tuesday. The warning was issued due to strong winds, low relative humidity, and dry fuels. Monday night, Devils Lake Airport recorded wind gusts up to 52 miles per hour.
The Spirit Lake Fire Department also posted early Monday that they have had to deal with a handful of fires, asking for information on potential arson. If anyone has information on the causation of the fires on Spirit Lake Reservation, the department recommends calling their tip hotline at 1-800-472-7766.
There have been other wildfires reported in the area including Nelson County along county road 20, south of McVille. Nelson County Emergency Management is requesting the public to avoid the area. Only residents are allowed in the area at this time.
Jack Williams covers Lake Region sports and general news for the Devils Lake Journal. Contact him via email at JGWilliams1@gannett.com, or on Twitter @jackgwilliams, or phone at 701-662-2127.