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Relief Fund Set Up for ND Town Hit by Wildfire - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Relief Fund Set Up for ND Town Hit by Wildfire

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Friday Update

A relief fund has been set up for residents of Bucyrus after a wildfire swept through the small southwestern North Dakota community.

Dakota Plains Federal Credit Union in Hettinger has set up a fund, and also has established a $50,000 pool from which to make low-interest loans to fire victims.

Authorities say the Wednesday fire destroyed four homes, two vacant farms and a picture-framing business. The cause of the fire that was fanned by strong winds was not immediately determined. None of the two dozen residents of the town was hurt.

Mike and Evelyn Krug are among those who lost their home. Evelyn Krug tells The Dickinson Press that she doesn't know how the community will move on.

Update

The wind-fueled fire is out in Bucyrus, North Dakota, but the problems are far from over for the people living there. The Adams County state's attorney said Bucyrus is pretty much completely lost.

Four homes were destroyed along with two abandoned farms in the town. Seven structures, a church and a grain elevator were saved.
People in the town say they will try to rebuild  their community while firefighters continue to investigate.

The Red Cross has a shelter set up in Hettinger for those who lost homes, and a relief fund is set up at Dakota Plains Federal Credit Union in Hettinger.

Original Story

A grassfire has devastated a small town in Southwest North Dakota near Hettinger. The fire started in the late afternoon Wednesday, went well into Thursday morning, and it has left several people homeless.

What started out as a normal windy day turned tragic for the small town of Bucyrus. People were told to leave town as several fire departments try to control the blaze.

"It was absolutely devastating, I couldn't believe it was rolling through the fields," said Samantha Page, who lives in Hettinger.

Firefighters responded to a grassfire just outside the town at around 3:00 p.m. At 5:30, firefighters decided to evacuate the community of 30 people.

Adams County States Attorney Aaron Roseland was on the scene, "I have spoken to some people who have been raised here and been here more many years and to their knowledge this is the largest fire in Adams county in their memory."

The fire spread more than 6 miles across and 4 miles long and is still growing, burning down 6 residential homes in its path.

"I was just praying for the families the whole time. It's just really sad to see that, because the families are going to be out of their homes for a long time," Page said.

"There are dozens of people who have opened they're homes and opened up their living spaces to the people that have had to be evacuated tonight."

Around 25 to 30 tractors owned by farmers were used to help contain the fire, but the fire danger continues.

"There's some very strong winds," explained Roseland. "Embers can be flown out and flown about all across the countryside which firefighters remain vigilant and are in shifts right now to make sure there are no flare ups or embers that occur."

"I can't imagine how hard they have to be working all night and all day tomorrow to contain it so I have a lot of respect for them."

County officials plan to let residents back into the town tomorrow.

Although the Red River Valley is getting rain, the fire danger is still high in parts of North Dakota. A red flag warning has been issued in all of southwest North Dakota through Thursday afternoon.
    
Dry fuel, relative humidity around 40%, and very windy conditions have created an extreme fire danger in the following counties: Trotters, Golden Valley, Billings, Stark, Slope, Hettinger, Grant, Bowman, Adams, and Sioux.

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