After making a judgment that there is danger of the setting and spreading of fires from locomotive engines, the commissioner of natural resources shall order any railroad company to provide patrol officers with the necessary equipment to follow each train throughout such fire patrol district or districts as the commissioner deems necessary to prevent fires. When the commissioner has so notified a railroad company to provide such a patrol after trains, the railroad company shall immediately comply with the requirements of this notice throughout the territory designated; and, upon its failure so to do, the commissioner may employ patrol officers with the necessary equipment to patrol the rights-of-way of the railroad, and the expense shall be charged to the railroad company and may be recovered in a civil action in the name of the state of Minnesota; and in addition thereto the company shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. All money so recovered shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the appropriation from which expenses were paid.
The commissioner may prescribe such other measures as are considered by the commissioner to be essential for the immediate control of fire.
It is made the duty of any railroad company, acting independently of the commissioner, to patrol its right-of-way after the passage of each train when necessary to prevent the spread of fires and to use the highest degree of diligence to prevent the setting and spread of fire, to cause the extinguishment of fires set by locomotives or found existing upon their respective rights-of-way.