Taking precautions to prevent wildfires this Fourth of July holiday

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — As many areas deal with dry conditions, fire danger is a concern.

Lyons Fire Chief Josh Schuette says it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“Just be careful. Big thing is, be cautious,” he said. “If you see a little smoke, get the fire department out. We’d rather go there and not have to do anything and you guys put it out yourselves versus come into a 300 acre field on fire. It’s just as simple as that.”

And while many fields are green, it’s still dry and may be full of dead vegetation that could fuel a grass fire in no time.

Schuette says to be extra careful when shooting off fireworks this Fourth of July holiday.

“Don’t shoot them in a dry, open field,” he said. “When you get done with it, put the stuff in water. Try not to shoot, watch where your wind is going”

Greg Hall is a battalion chief with Watertown Fire Rescue. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map of South Dakota, Codington County has been experiencing moderate drought. Plenty of counties across the state, however, had higher-intensity drought.

“People need to be responsible with fireworks this Fourth of July season,” he said. “We have not put a ban on fireworks at all. Any open burning that people do for recreational open burning needs to be also watched and stuff. We do have a burn ban in unincorporated areas of the county right now, so there’s no pits or excess brush that’s allowed to be burned right now.”

If you want to enjoy a fire pit, he has some pointers.

“Make sure that it’s in an approved fire pit proper distance from the home, to the ordinance it’s 20 feet,” Hall said. “And then also have, it doesn’t hurt to have some water standing by, whether it’s hose or even a bucket. And then to make sure your coals are covered and cold when you go in for the night.”

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