Protestors have recently claimed that Dakota Access Pipeline officials and the Morton County Sheriff office have colluded to burn nearly 400 acres near the project’s construction corridor and the Sacred Stone Camp. Democracy Now suggested in a piece this week that “protectors believe the fire was intentionally lit by people working for Dakota Access.” However, no evidence exists to suggest that authorities from Dakota Access started the 400 acre fire.
According to Dallas Goldtooth, organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, “I mean, there’s—it’s obvious collusion between Morton County and the Dakota Access pipeline. And that collusion is causing a very, very dangerous situation for our water protectors and for the main camp, that houses women, children, elders and just people that care and love for the land and are there for one sole purpose: to protect the water.”
This is a baseless theory with no logical reasoning nor evidence to support it. It also begs the question: Why would Dakota Access LLC risk any further damage to its multibillion dollar pipeline project by lighting a nearby, massive fire?
The Morton County Sheriff’s office has investigated all incidences of lawlessness in and around the Sacred Stone Camp, as their main priority is public safety—despite what out of state illegal protestors may believe.
Goldtooth chooses to accuse law enforcement of selectively ignoring safety issues at the protest camp, while that very day, officers were investigating a possible drowning in the Cannonball River between two of the protest camps.
No part of any protest camp was damaged nor have Morton County Sheriffs accused protestors of starting the fire—despite their history with arson.
There was an incident of similar size just this year as fires like this are common in the area. This does not negate the capacity for foul play, but equally, there is still no proof to validate this absurd