South Dakota

Long Draw Prescribed Fire Planned Tuesday, November 1, 2016 near Hill City, SD

Rapid City, SD, October 31, 2016 Black Hills National Forest Central Zone Fire is planning to ignite 1,100 acres on the Long Draw project on Tuesday, November 1, weather permitting.

This project is located approximately 5 miles south west of Hill City, SD near Newton Fork Road, south of Reno Gulch road, Odakota Mountain and west of the Medicine Mountain Boy Scout Camp.

The goal of the Long Draw Prescribed Fire is to establish and maintain a mosaic of vegetation conditions over the project area. This project will lessen the severity and extent of future wildfires in the project area by breaking up the continuity of dead, downed fuels, ultimately reducing fuel loads. Fire will also be utilized as a tool to thin pine regeneration and increase canopy base heights. Additionally, the burn will stimulate browse for big game species.

“Low intensity fire benefits the landscape by cleaning the forest floor and destroys diseases and insects that prey on trees,” said Adam Ziegler, Burn Boss Trainee. “It provides valuable nutrients that enrich the soil and heat needed for seed germination.”

Fire reduces competition for nutrients by removing debris and weaker trees and allows established trees to grow stronger and healthier.

The water supply is increased when fire removes a thick stand of shrubs. With fewer plants absorbing water, streams have more water to benefit plants and animals.

Smoke will be visible from Rapid City, Hill City, Custer, SD, surrounding areas and from Highway 16/385.  Smoke will be visible in the days following ignition and firefighters will remain on scene monitoring the burn for as long as needed.

Weather conditions will be monitored closely to assure prescribed fire conditions align with management objectives for the burn.

For more information on Black Hills National Forest prescribed fire, visit

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