Fire Restrictions Remain in Effect
Custer, SD – Local, State and Federal officials remind the public that very high fire danger remains across the Black Hills and neighboring areas and everyone can help prevent human-caused fires by following the fire restrictions that are in place. Fire restrictions are in effect for the Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District, which encompasses the following counties: Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, Custer, and Fall River. Fire restrictions are also in effect in Crook and Weston Counties in Wyoming.
Campfires in federal, state, local and private campgrounds are prohibited during the duration of these restrictions. The definition of campfires includes: building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal grill, coal, wood burning stove or sheepherder’s stove.
“The current fire restrictions will remain in place until fire managers determine that local conditions make it safe for the restrictions to be lifted,” said Jay Esperance, Director of Wildland Fire Suppression for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. “We need to take necessary precautions to prevent a human-caused fire from starting and growing rapidly.”
Local, state, and federal officials will continue to meet weekly to discuss the need for fire restrictions as the season continues. They consider factors such as current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, fire activity, and available resources to determine whether fire restrictions need to be revised or maintained at the current level.
“We recognize that fire restrictions can inconvenience local residents and visitors to the Black Hills, especially those wishing to enjoy a campfire,” said Todd Pechota, Black Hills National Forest Fire Management Officer. “Unfortunately, given local conditions, any fire ignited has a high potential for growth.”
While there have been occasional thunderstorms and showers this past week, they were generally isolated in nature and not widespread enough to lessen the overall fire danger. Much of the precipitation that was received during the past week was localized, and some portions of the region received no measurable precipitation.
Information about fire restrictions are posted on the Black Hills Fire Restriction web site available at http://www.blackhillsfirerestrictions.com