Fire officials in the Black Hills urge the public and visitors to be fire conscience

Local News

BLACK HILLS, S.D. (KELO) — As motorcyclists head to Sturgis for the rally, the Black Hills National Forest Service is asking everyone to use caution with the dry conditions.

As the rally starts tomorrow, fire danger levels throughout parts of the Black Hills are currently high. Which means people in the area need to be careful not to spark any kind of flame that could ignite a wildfire.

“We’ve bounced around between the high and very high category. The days after the rains we’re dropping into moderate but the fire danger is here and it’s going to continue to be here through August, September, October,” Chief Schmidt said.

Rockerville Fire Chief, Gail Schmidt, says it’s been an extremely busy summer for local fire departments.

“New Underwood ran on a motorcycle accident this last week and the motorcycle accident ended up causing a grass fire,” Chief Schmidt said.

With the influx in traffic and people coming to the rally, that means more possible ignition sources. Like campfires, cigarette butts, and dragging chains.

“Lot of bikes are here, a lot of people are visiting the Black Hills and it’s really an important time of year to really be vigilant about being out in the woods and not creating anything that could cause a wildfire that could be devastating to the Black Hills,” Jacobson said.

Scott Jacobson with the Black Hills National Forest Service says with the haze covering the sky, it becomes more difficult to notice a wildfire.

“We recently had a fire that burned more than it should have, we found that it had probably been burning for a couple days because we weren’t able to spot it because of the heavy smoke that’s covering the Black Hills,” Jacobson said.

So as you travel to the Sturgis Rally, make sure you are doing your part in preventing wildfires.

Fire officials say the faster a fire is reported, the better.

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