Standing Rock Update: Arson fire started near Oceti Sakowin Camp Oct. 29, 2016

The following is an update from Dallas Goldtooth from the Indigenous Environmental Network regarding an arson fire started near the Oceti Sakowin camp on October 29th.

Hello family.

Haven’t posted much updates yesterday and today due to on-the-ground work and travel.

But here is an update on a fire that happened:

There was a brush fire two nights ago (Oct 29th) near the Oceti Sakowin camp. It happened west of the camp, across highway 1806. It was intentionally started by unknown arsonists, but given its timing and the history of stupid decisions, many of us suspect DAPL as the culprits. No direct evidence to support this. The fire ended up dying out of its own accord. No injuries occurred.

However…in lieu of identifying the culprits there were some interesting developments on how the fire was handled.

First…the primary reason Morton County police gave for raiding & clearing the frontline treaty camp was because our barricades added 30 minutes onto the response time for ambulances or firetrucks to get to the Oceti Sakowin camp, within their “Jurisdiction”. They stated they had to be able to provide emergency services to that area.

Second…over 5 different people in the vicinity of the fire all called 911, which connected to the Morton County emergency dispatcher. All 5 were either laughed at, hung up on or had their concerns dismissed.

Third…Even though 911 dispatch received numerous call about the fire…no firetrucks were sent to the site. No ambulances were sent to the site. Again…for emphasis, no Morton County emergency vehicles were sent to the site. (Remember the reason police stated they had to raid the camp?)

Fourth…BIA emergency vehicles DID respond to the call, arrived on scene, however, due to jurisdictional limitations they could not engage the fire without receiving explicit permission from Morton County. As such, requests were made, but no permission was granted.

Fifth and last point…a National Guard helicopter did eventually arrive to drop water on the fire. 6 hours later, after the fire had already put itself out. And yet there’s a local new article about how the National Guard put out the fire. A fire, that, was more or less, already out.

Thankfully the wind was blowing away from the camp so no great damage occurred. And yet…again, the entire situation causes me to contemplate the origins of this blaze. Who would benefit the most from a large grassfire so near our camp? Although circumspect, there’s enough fodder here to lean towards a certain oil pipeline company that has already shown itself to be utterly devoid of corporate responsibility and common decency. *cough* DAPL *cough*

Here’s an article that goes into some detail about the event:

Anyways..thats my 4am update. Peace. #NoDakotaAccess #KeepItInTheGround #WaterIsLife

Dallas Goldtooth

Photo by Myron Dewey

Photo by Myron Dewey


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