RAPID CITY, S.D. – With the recent fire activity in the Black Hills, now is the best time to mitigate the fire threat and lower the risk of catastrophic fire to your property. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Wildland Fire (SDWF) Division reminds citizens that there is funding available through the 50 Percent Cost Share Fire Hazard and Fuels Reduction Program.
The program is to create or enhance survivable space around homes, reducing the spread rate and intensity in the event of a fire. Treatment will promote forest health by mimicking the effects that fire would have on the landscape by removing unhealthy tree, resulting in a variety of stronger trees that will reduce competition for nourishment and create a healthier forest.
Mitigation will target and remove deformed, diseased, damaged, and broken topped coniferous trees while encouraging growth of deciduous. Remaining conifers will be removed until an average spacing of 30 feet between the crowns and limbed at least 10 feet from the ground.
SDWF is unable to cost share projects consisting of select tree removal due to various forms of tree mortality (i.e. bug tree removal) or cleanup of slash piles, chip piles or cut and chunk material that has been left from previous treatments. Treatments larger than 6.5 acres are typically not eligible under this program, unless specifically targeted as a necessary mitigation effort for a high-risk interface area.
To determine if you are eligible for participation, please contact Cassie Christy, urban interface technician with SDWF at 605.394.5203. For more information on mitigating fire threats around your home, visitwww.gpfiresafecouncil.com.
Follow South Dakota Wildland Fire on Twitter @SDWildlandFire and on Facebook by searching SD Wildland Fire.
Agriculture is a major contributor to South Dakota’s economy, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 115,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow. Visit us online at http://sdda.sd.govor find us on Facebook and Twitter.