Fire damages outdoor lab at South Dakota Mines’ in Rapid City

Local News

Crews work to extinguish a small wildfire on the hill above South Dakota Mines that is home to the university’s new Living Lab. The fire caused between $5,000-$10,000 in damage, but research will move forward on the site. | South Dakota Mines

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — An outdoor lab at South Dakota Mines’ in Rapid City was damaged by a grass fire earlier this month.

According to a press release sent Tuesday, the Mines’ new outdoor Living Laboratory was damaged by a grass fire in early August. The Living Laboratory studies long-term erosion mitigation efforts, officials say.

The fire damaged nine of the 26 study units in the lab. Officials with South Dakota Mines’ say the damage is estimated at $5,000-$10,000.

“They are repairable, but it will still take effort and resources that we don’t currently have available to fix the damage,” Heidi Sieverding, a research scientist in the civil and environmental engineering department at Mines, said in the release.

Not all of the units were burned, so the study can now look at the impact of fire and fire suppression efforts.

“We will definitely study how the test units reacted to the fire,” Sieverding said. “We plan on adding the fire-scarring into the learning experience.”

Fire officials say the fire was human caused, and the investigation is ongoing.

Officials with the South Dakota Mines’ says the laboratory is funded through a grant from the West Dakota Water Development District.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Continuing The Conversation
See Full Weather Forecast

Trending Stories

Don't Miss!

More Don't Miss