Fire crews in the Black Hills ask people to take extra precaution during the dry weather

Local News

FAIRBURN, S.D. (KELO) — Fire conditions were just right this weekend, as multiple fires flared up throughout the Black Hills.

For the past few days, the Black Hills has been under very high to extreme fire danger. Authorities say humans caused a fire that started Saturday afternoon, near Fairburn at the Agate Beds. Several fire crews from all over the state showed up to help.

“Saturday night and yesterday as well and last night had some really good progress. It’s very difficult and inaccessible ground so it’s taken a while to get to all of the hot spots that are near the control line but we’re pushing on today,” Brian Daunt, Incident Commander for the Agate Bed Fire, said.

Here at the Agate Beds, the fire is estimated to have reached 2,500 acres. Crews on scene have reached 75 percent containment, currently.

Brian Daunt with the Fairburn Volunteer Fire Department says the fire grew quickly for several reasons.

“We get a fire season prior to green up in the Spring but this year things are particularly dry. The other reason why it grew so large was because the access was so hard. We had a lot of difficulty getting the engines around and just getting to the fire,” Daunt said.

Jerome Harvey with the Pennington County Fire Service says the lack of snow and moisture during this time of the year is causing Western South Dakota to be very dry.

“Western South Dakota which includes Pennington County is under a very high grassland fire danger rating and that is more receptive to starts than any of the other fuels that we see here in Western South Dakota,” Harvey said.

Harvey says the fire danger remains at a very high level tonight and tomorrow. So people need to be taking precautions.

“If you’ve had any type of burn piles please check them again, make sure they’re completely dead out. The conditions that we do see as far as the dryness in the grasslands. The dryness in the light flashier fuel beds is deceptive because we have had some snow but the snow is without any moisture. And with the wind and the sun that we’ve received here, we’ve actually seen some very high to red flag conditions as far as weather and it makes prime burning conditions,” Harvey said.

The fire near Fairburn is under investigation.

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