BEULAH, N.D. — Authorities asked for a voluntary evacuation in Beulah after a grassfire came within a mile of the western North Dakota city.

Beulah Rural Fire Protection District Chief Eli Schumann tells KXMB-TV ( that the fire began with a baler in a hay field. He says it traveled more than a mile before firefighters were able to control the flames about 11:30 p.m. Monday.

Schumann says firefighters stationed themselves to the north of the Knife River to keep the fire from reaching the town. He says access to the scene was difficult because firefighters had to navigate numerous ravines and creeks and they had a “hard time catching up with it.”

About 450 residents were included in the voluntary evacuation. It’s not clear how many people left their homes.

Information from: KXMB-TV,

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