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Oil company coming to aid of ranchers affected by grass fire

KEENE, N.D. — An energy company operating in the western North Dakota oil patch is offering help to ranchers affected by a grass fire started by gas flares at an oil well.

The blaze earlier this month burned more than 4 ½ square miles in McKenzie County, damaging grazing land and destroying miles of fence line.

Whiting Petroleum has met with the U.S. Forest Service and with ranchers to offer help, and is supplying a crew to repair fences, Acting District Ranger Scot Shuler told The Bismarck Tribune.

“Whiting’s been outstanding, working with ranchers and finding out their priorities,” he said.

The fire primarily burned pasture land permitted through the McKenzie County Grazing Association, and a much smaller amount of private land. Whiting has offered to look for alternative grazing grass if the three affected ranches run short, pasture director Wade Wold said.

“Whiting has been upfront with us. They’re doing what they can,” he said.

Whiting also has agreed to reimburse local fire departments for their costs in fighting the fire, Schuler said.

Whiting officials did not immediately respond to inquiries by the Tribune and The Associated Press.

The fire did not burn any structures or harm any people.

In related news, ND health department warns of health dangers from wildfires

Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


  1. Well, so much for those people who think the oil companies are only in this for the profit, and don’t give a $#!+ about their neighbors!!

  2. Nick Marcott. Sounds like are location. Probably is lol. From last spring.

  3. Everyone should help each other out!

  4. Anyone knows anything about grass fires, especially this time of year, will tell you that the grass will come back in a month, and be stronger and greener than it ever was. That is, it’s actually a good thing every now and then. So literally, probably not only little harm, but good.

  5. Yes its good..but didnt their flare cause the fire? So…good for Whiting helping out…but they are doing really what they are suppose to be doing. Paying for the damage they caused

    • Wind was pushing the flares completely horizontal and an unpredicted pressure spike caused them to grow. The stacks are 30ft plus off the ground but with the wind here you can’t always be completely sure.

    • Yep i agree. I didnt mean that they intended it to happen…it was just caused by their flare. I was nearby, so i know the wind was a blowing hard

  6. Very proud of Whiting! The company is a real class act and anyone who works for or with Whiting should be proud! Excellent work and a job well done on supporting ND and this cause. Thank you.

  7. After reading all the comments on here AND the article, I wonder if half of y’all even read the article. If not, please read it before opening your mouth!

  8. Whiting is a 1st class company!!! This doesn’t surprise me! Well done!

  9. Olaf Drosdal was this you or Cody???? Lol