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Air quality monitored after warehouse fire

North Dakota Health Dept. assists after fracturing chemical fire

July 23, 2014

Explosions and fire rocked an oilfield service company on the southeast edge of Williston about midnight Monday night.

The fire at Red River Supply burned through the night and day, forcing the Federal Aviation Administration to suspend all air traffic at the Williston Airport, nearly three miles away.

North Dakota’s Health Department said its’ surveying air quality near the site of a fire at an industrial park in Williston, the heart of the state’s oil patch.

Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing caught fire at an industrial warehouse in Williston. Officials said they’re going to let the fire burn on its own because pouring water on the blaze would create a secondary problem for nearby waterways.

The Williston Herald reports the state’s Department of health and other agencies are monitoring both air and water quality, and the city is awaiting those reports. The station says a voluntary evacuation remains in effect for all areas within a half-mile of the site of the blaze.

The National Guard helped was called to assist along with numerous other state and local agencies that quickly descended upon Williston. The blaze forced the closure of Highway 1804. While the fire was intense, crews were able to salvage nearby buildings, but the main facility was left to burn.

Preliminary readings show no issues with air or water quality at this point, Bakken Today reports.

North Dakota oil production is growing as a result of the advances in drilling technology for shale reserves. The state government said oil production for May, the last full month for which data are available, was 1,039,635 barrels per day, a new all-time high and a 3.8 percent increase from April.

The State Fire Marshall is in Williston to try to establish how this fire at Red River Supply started.

No injuries have been reported.

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