Prescribed Fire Planned in Northern Black Hills

Spearfish, SD, November 4, 2016 – Forest Officials from the North Zone Fire Program on the Black Hills National Forest are planning to burn approximately 225 acres on the Work Center Prescribed Fire Project as early as Monday, November, 7.  North Zone Fire Program is also planning to burn approximately 133 acres on the Burner Prescribed Fire Project next week.

The Work Center Project is about one mile southwest of the City of Spearfish, South Dakota, off of Forest Service road 134, (Tinton Road). Smoke will be visible from the City of Spearfish and Interstate 90. Areas of smoke will be more noticeable in the evening and in the morning after the completion of the prescribed burn and could reach portions of neighborhoods within Spearfish City Limits.

The Burner Project is approximately three miles northwest of Sundance, WY off of Forest Service road 838, (Warren Peak Hwy).  Smoke will be visible from Sundance and Interstate 90.  Areas of smoke will be more noticeable in the evening and in the morning after the completion of the prescribed burn and could reach portions of neighborhoods within Sundance City Limits.

Fuel moistures and weather conditions such as temperature and wind direction will be a contributing factor for determining which project Fire Officials will implement first, as well as deciding which day next week to conduct the burn project.  Objectives of the burn are to reduce surface and ladder fuels that contribute to crown fire hazard.  The reduction of excess hazardous fuels provides additional protection to nearby homes, while also providing fire managers safe and effective areas in which to manage future wildland fires.  Additional goals include providing for diverse ecosystems, improving sensitive plant habitats within the unit, and to promote foraging opportunities for animals.

Prescribed Fire Specialists compare conditions on the ground to those outlined in burn plans before deciding whether to burn on a given day. A prescribed burn will not be ignited unless the conditions meet the criteria described in the burn plan. Resources will continue to monitor the prescribed burn through the week, and until declared out.

The Parking Lots and Trailheads for the Tinton Trail system will be temporarily closed the day of the burn for use by fire officials. The Tinton Trail will remain open.  Officials ask recreationalists to find parking outside of the trailheads and prescribed fire project area.

Forest visitors, including hunters, are asked to be aware of their surroundings and watch for prescribed burning operations in the months ahead. Traffic control on Forest Service roads during implementation, may be in place to provide safety to visitors who are passing through the burn area.  Areas where burning operations are taking place will be signed to notify visitors. The public is also encouraged to contact a nearby Forest Service Ranger District office with questions.

As conditions permit, fire officials will continue to assess ignition of other prescribed burn units across the Black Hills National Forest.

For more information on Black Hills National Forest prescribed fire, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/blackhills/landmanagement/resourcemanagement/?cid=STELPRDB5112694

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