Dakota Access pipeline protesters set some of their tents and teepees ablaze Wednesday as the deadline loomed to depart their encampment near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, in what might be seen as a final show of defiance.

USA TODAY

Police on Thursday started arresting protesters who refused to leave the Dakota Access pipeline protest camp by Wednesday’s deadline, according to reports by The Associated Press and NBC News.

The arrests come hours after remnants of the camp went up in flames as protesters set fire to the wooden housing as part of a departure ceremony.

The protesters stayed on the federal land for six months as they tried to block construction efforts. While many planned to go peacefully, others said they would defy the 2 p.m. CT Wednesday deadline, the AP reported.

Hundreds of officers from several states were on hand to handle arrests, according to NBC News.

About 150 people marched arm-in-arm out of the camp, singing and playing drums as they walked down a highway. One man carried an American flag hung upside-down.

Authorities sent buses to take protesters to the North Dakota capital of Bismarck, where they were offered fresh clothing, bus fare home and food and hotel vouchers.

The encampment is on federal land in…