People should still be taking fire precautions regardless of recent rain

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Despite the rain that fell across much of South Dakota, there is still a fire danger risk in parts of the state.

Recent rain has been good for the Black Hills. However, it’s not nearly the amount we need to be at a low fire danger. State Fire Meteorologist, Darren Clabo, says the moisture we are getting comes very quick, and evaporates very quick due to high temperatures.

“The thunderstorms we have been getting have been dumping a half an inch to two inches of rain in places but it comes in two hours. We want to see 2 inches of rain over two weeks not in two hours,” Clabo said.

Clabo says in order for the moisture to mitigate the fire danger levels, we need more rain over longer periods of time.

Fire Chief Gail Schmidt with the Rockerville Fire Department says her crews have seen about 10 wildland fires since spring. Which is more than the usual during this time.

“We’ve seen some rains this year and ultimately what that’s done for us, it’s been great, it’s greened some things up. But it’s really just delayed our fire season a bit. We’ve had some moisture but it’s not our normal,” Schmidt said.

Chief Schmidt says the public can be a huge help in preventing wildfires by being cautious.

“They can’t start unless they have an ignition source, we can’t burn anything up unless we start the fire. So mother nature is going to bring her lightening. We’ll be ready, we’ll do what we can but the public can help us out as well,” Chief Schmidt said.

Fire Crews including South Dakota Wildland Fire, are preparing for the potential of a busy summer ahead.

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