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October 11, 2012 11:37 AM

Custer County, Black Hills Reduce Fire Restrictions

Cooler weather is helping officials lift burning bans in areas of western South Dakota.

Fire use and smoking restrictions have been downgraded to Stage 1 in the Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District and the Black Hills National Forest.  They've also been downgraded to Stage 1 in Bear Butte State Park, Custer State Park, Sheps Canyon, Cheyenne and Bailey Lakeside Use Areas at Angostura Reservoir, and the Rocky Point Recreational camping area. 

That means people are allowed to build a campfire or use a stove fire and light a cigarette in designated areas.

"With the cooling temperatures and high humidity's we are experiencing our fire danger is starting to moderate", Chief Fire Management Officer Jim Strain with the South Dakota Wildland Fire said in a statement. "Although fuels are still dry and there is still potential to have wildland fires, we feel it is safe within designated campgrounds and permitted campfire rings, for visitors and residents to have a campfire."

Custer County Commissioners also lifted the county's burn ban Thursday, which extends outside of the Black Hills Fire Protection area.  But those with municipal and state permits within the county must still follow the conditions of those permits.

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