BLACK HILL NATIONAL FOREST TO CONTINUE PILE BURNING – SMOKE MAY IMPACT COMMUNITIES

Black Hills National Forest Pile Burning Info:

Forest Managers are working to reduce hazardous fuels across the Black Hills National Forest.

Hell Canyon Ranger District (southern Black Hills)

  • Hell Canyon fire will be igniting Hahn piles East/North East of Custer, if conditions warrant and around 50 Hahn piles, 3-4 miles west of Custer.

Mystic Ranger District (central Black Hills)

  • Hand piles located ½ mile east of Hill City and south of 12491 Old Hill City Road. Smoke may impact the communities of Hill city and/or Keystone for several days; it may also impact Old Hill City Road, Highway 16, 16A, 385, and 244.
  • Hand piles within a ½ mile of Silver City and in and around Sunnyside Gulch area. Smoke may impact the community of Silver City, Silver City Road, Jenny Gulch and Highway 385.
  • Burning machine piles 2 miles north and northwest of Johnson Siding if conditions allow. Smoke and flames may be visible from the following areas: Johnson siding, Norris Peak Road, Bogus Jim Road and Nemo Road.
  • Burning machine piles 1 mile west of the town of Blackhawk if conditions allow. Smoke and flames may be visible from the following areas: Blackhawk, Interstate 90, Peaceful Pines area, Woodland Drive area, High Meadows area Canyon Place and Nemo Road.
  • Burning machine piles 3 miles west of Red Rock Subdivision if conditions allow. Smoke and flames may be visible from the following areas: Sheridan Lake Road west of Countryside Subdivision, Red Rocks, Dark Canyon Road off Hwy 44, Nordsmen Road, Victoria Lake Road and Hisega.
  • Burning piles 2 miles west of Hwy 16 on White Horse Road. Smoke may be seen from Hwy 16 Spring Creek Road, Hwy 244 and Hwy 89.
  • Burning machine piles around the Tigerville area, 5 miles west of Hill city. Smoke and flames may be visible from Deerfield Road, Mystic Road, Tigerville, Newton Fork Road and Hill City.
  • Burning piles 1 mile NW and 1 mile NE of Hill City. Smoke and flames will be visible from Hill City, Marshall Gulch Road, China Gulch Road, Hwy 16 and Deerfield Road.

North Zone Fire (northern Black Hills)

  • North Zone Fire will be burning machine piles in the Boundary Gulch area today provided snow conditions and other burn parameters are favorable. Piles will be visible from I-90 on the South Dakota/Wyoming border.
  • Conditions permitting, piles will also be burned on both sides of north Rochford Road, south of Custer Crossing Road turnoff, Nemo Road Elk Creek Subdivision East, north of Dalton Lake Road turnoff and the west side of Vanocker Road.

 

Silver Mountain Prescribed Fire Planned West of Rapid City, SD  

 

October 30, 2017

Rapid City, SD– The Mystic Ranger District on the Black Hills National Forest is planning to ignite 108 acres on the Silver Mountain project Tuesday, October 31, depending on weather. Smoke will be visible for several miles and could impact Highway 16, Hill City, Rapid City and other surrounding areas. Crews have been preparing to implement the project to meet management objectives for several years.

The Silver Mountain project area is located approximately 10 miles west/southwest of Rapid City, SD between Highway 16 and Sheridan Lake Road, along Boulder Hill Road to the west.

The goal of the Silver Mountain Prescribed Fire is to maintain a mosaic of vegetation conditions created by the Battle Creek Fire of 2002. 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 those fuel loads. Fire will also be utilized as a tool to thin pine regeneration and increase canopy base heights. Additionally, this burn will stimulate browse for big game species.

After many years of fire exclusion, an ecosystem, such as the Black Hills, needs periodic fire to remain healthy. Without it, trees are stressed by overcrowding, fire-dependent species disappear, and flammable fuels build up and become hazardous.

Forest visitors, including hunters, are asked to be aware of their surroundings and watch for prescribed burning operations in the months ahead. Areas where burning operations are taking place will be signed to notify visitors. The public is also encouraged to contact a nearby Forest Service 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, visithttp://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/blackhills/landmanagement/resourcemanagement/?cid=STELPRDB5112694

Public Comment Period Extended for Mineral Mountain Resources Rochford Exploration Project

October 13, 2017

Rapid City, SD – In response to public interest and request, Black Hills National Forest Supervisor, Mark Van Every, announced another extension of the scoping comment period for the Mineral Mountain Resources Rochford Exploration Project. The original comment period was extended by 30 days and will now be extended by another 15 days. Scoping comments are now due no later than Friday, October 27, 2017.

Mineral Mountain Resources has submitted a Plan of Operations to conduct exploration on their claims located on National Forest System (NFS) lands. The area of the proposed exploration is located southeast of Rochford, South Dakota. Maps and detailed project information is available on the Black Hills National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52323

This project falls under the authority and guidance of the Black Hills National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan and the 1872 Mining Law. The U.S. Forest Service administers exploration and development on National Forest System lands under mining regulations. As such, the U.S. Forest Service may approve the specific location or manner in which surface operations are conducted, but does not issue permits, nor control whether or not a claim can be mined.

Mineral Mountain Resources must obtain necessary exploration permits, such as a temporary permit to use public waters, from the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (SD DENR) Minerals and Mining Program.

“The Forest Service decision will include mitigation measures to protect wildlife, water and other resources, as well as to minimize noise or other disturbances associated with this action,” said Van Every.  The company will be required to post an adequate reclamation bond prior to initiating actions.

Scoping is the process of obtaining comments about proposed federal actions to determine the breadth of issues to be addressed. The U.S. Forest Service will review all public comment statements and consider the substance of the concerns, evaluate whether they trigger a change in the analysis, and draft a response to each comment.  In general, the U.S. Forest Service responds to comments by modifying the proposed action; supplementing, improving, or modifying analysis; making factual corrections; and/or explaining why the comments do not need further response.

Those interested in or affected by this proposal are encouraged to mail comments to “Mystic Ranger District, 8221 Mount Rushmore Road, Rapid City, SD 57702” or email: comments-rocky-mountain-black-hills-mystic@fs.fed.us with “Rochford Exploration Project” as the subject. Comments can be written within the text of emails or attached. Comments submitted, including names and addresses of commenters, are public information.

For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.

Three Black Hills National Forest Employees Selected for Inspiring Women Award

August 28, 2017

Custer, SD– Three Black Hills National Forest employees were recently selected to receive the Rocky Mountain Region – Inspiring Women Award.

Amy Ballard from the Mystic Ranger District was selected in the category of Outstanding Outreach, Volunteerism and Partnerships.  Amy has run the Moon Walk program for the past 20 years. She was instrumental in starting the Women in Science program 10 years ago and part of a statewide effort to bring science to rural grade school students via a teleconferencing system.

Laura Burns from the Hell Canyon Ranger District was selected in the category of Outstanding Leadership Achievement. She has led her team by providing excellent public service in recreation, trails, special use permits, wilderness management and roads management. She has been a community leader in representing the district on county land issues, working with federal highways on road projects and coordinating various volunteer groups to complete recreation facilities construction, preservation on historic properties and trail maintenance. Laura will retire on Sep 1, 2017 with over 38 years of service in the U.S. Forest Service.

Ami Schlosser from the Hell Canyon Ranger District was selected in the category of Outstanding Scientific Achievement. As a professional archaeologist, she leads her team in recognizing and recording the diversity of cultural artifacts found on the landscape. Her team has conducted extensive work in preserving historical structures including Harney Lookout Tower on Black Elk Peak and the Meeker Ranch.

“This well-deserved recognition is a testament to the hard work, dedication and professionalism demonstrated by employees across the forest,” said Mark Van Every, Forest Supervisor.

The Black Hills National Forest has approximately 250 permanent and about 200 seasonal employees that embrace the U.S. Forest Service motto, Caring for the Land and Serving People.

For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, visithttp://www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.

US Forest Service To Burn Slash Piles in Black Hills National Forest West of Hill City

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January 9, 2017

Hill City, SD  – Forest Managers are continuing to reduce hazardous fuels across the Black Hills National Forest.
Starting tomorrow & continuing through the week, Mystic fire will be burning piles located 1/2 – 1 mile west of Hill City, SD.

Smoke will be visible and may impact local communities, including Hill City, SD. Smoldering material may continue to burn days after burning operations are completed and firefighters will monitor and check the piles for several days after they have been lit.

Piles are created from timber sale slash and tree thinning operations.

Officials appreciate the support from local communities and said that reducing fuels this time of year makes fire suppression operations safer during the summer months.

Burning operations will continue across the Black Hills National Forest this winter as conditions permit.
Public safety and firefighter safety are the top priority when considering any prescribed burn operation on the landscape.

Bearlodge fire is burning piles 10 miles south east of Sundance, WY today, 1/9/17.

For pile burning notifications, sign up at http://gpfireinfo.blogspot.com/.
For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.

Fire Crews Burn Slash Piles across the Black Hills National Forest

Spearfish, SD; November 29, 2016 – Forest Managers are working to reduce hazardous fuels across the Black Hills National Forest.

Starting today & continuing through the week into next week, Northern Hills fire will be burning piles located South of Aspen Hills Rd, East of Forest Service Road (FSR) 134.1, North of 222.2 and off of FSR 207, west of Rochford Rd.

Throughout the winter, Districts across the Black Hills National Forest are focusing efforts on burning hand and machine slash piles. Piles are created from timber sale slash and tree thinning operations.

“It is very important to reduce fire and insect hazards by reducing fuel buildup,” said Todd Pechota, Black Hills National Forest Fire Management Officer. “With today’s snowfall in the northern hills and extended forecast, conditions are good for reducing these forest fuels through pile burning.”

Smoke will be visible and may impact local communities across the Black Hills for the next several months. Smoldering material may continue to burn days after burning operations are completed. Crews will continue to burn as conditions permit. Firefighters continually monitor and check the piles for several days after they have been lit.

“We appreciate the support from the communities,” said Pechota. “Being able to reduce these fuels this time of year makes fire suppression operations safer during the summer months.” 

Burning operations will continue throughout the winter as conditions permit.

For more pile burning information and notifications, follow the Black Hills National Forest on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/blackhillsnf or Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlackHillsNF

For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.

2017 Forest Day Use Passes on Sale – One Day Only – Friday December 2, 2016

Custer, SD,  On December 2, 2016, Forest Recreation Management (FRM) Day Use Passes for the 2017 season will be available for half price at several Black Hills National Forest offices including, the Bearlodge Ranger District office in Sundance, WY, the Northern Hills Ranger District office in Spearfish, SD, the Mystic Ranger District office in Rapid City, SD and the Forest Supervisors office in Custer, SD. 

These passes are for USDA Forest Service facilities located within the Black Hills National Forest fee areas and should not be confused with South Dakota State Park Passes.

The Premium passes (which includes the Sheridan and Pactola complexes) will be $17 (regularly $34), and the Standard passes (which are for all FRM operated day use areas except the Sheridan and Pactola complexes) will be $10 (regularly $20). 

Requests made by mail with postmarks between Dec.  2-4 to FRM, PO Box 1168, Hill City, SD 57745 will also be honored. Please include a check for the appropriate amount. 

The number of passes available for purchase per individual is unlimited, making them great gifts for stocking stuffers, gift exchanges and prizes for drawings. No other discounts will be accepted with this offer and those with senior or access discounts can receive this reduced price any time.

Under a special use permit, FRM operates Black Hills National Forest campgrounds and other recreation facilities. FRM has been operating these facilities since 1999.

For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.

Black Hills National Forest to Begin Prescribed Burning

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Custer, SD, September 19, 2016 – The public may notice smoke in various parts of the Black Hills National Forest during the next several months as fire crews conduct prescribed fires.

The Hell Canyon Ranger District on the Black Hills National Forest is planning to ignite the 289 acre Mahoney prescribed fire beginning this week or next depending on weather.

The Mahoney project area, located approximately 5 miles northwest of Pringle, SD, focuses on treating Forest Service land around the wildland urban interface. (Map attached)

“Prescribed fire is an important tool in reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire across the landscape,” said Todd Pechota, Forest Fire Management Officer. “It allows us to reintroduce fire, using lower fire intensities, to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations on the forest floor.”

Hazardous fuels reduction will help to protect nearby private property and homes, and to aid fire suppression, tactics and strategies in the event of an unplanned wildland fire.

Reduced fuels will slow a wildfire’s rate of spread and reduce flame length, which reduces the potential for a crown wildfire (fire that spreads from treetop to treetop). “By removing these fuels, wildfires will not burn as aggressively in a treated area,” said Pechota. “This gives firefighters increased suppression options to safely and effectively manage a wildfire incident.”

Prescribed fire also encourages new growth in forage for wildlife and cattle, maintains many plant and animal species whose habitats depend on periodic fire, minimizes the spread of pest insects; removes unwanted species that threaten species native to an ecosystem and recycles nutrients back to the soil.

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.

Forest visitors, including hunters, are asked to be aware of their surroundings and watch for prescribed burning operations in the months ahead. Areas where burning operations are taking place will be signed to notify visitors. The public is also encouraged to contact a nearby Forest Service office with questions.

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

Spearfish South Dakota Crow Peak Fire Expands to 420 Acres – UPDATE-

Crow Peak Fire – Spearfish, SD – A Type  2 Incident Management Team has been ordered and will take command of the fire on Monday, June 27, 2016 at 6:00 a.m.
Today,s operation was concentrated on keeping the fire south of Homestead Bench Road, north of Forest Service Road (FSR) 214, east of Crow Creek Road and west of Crow Creek Bench Road,. The fire continues to progress to the east in the drainage on the east side of Crow Creek.

Heavy air tankers, single engine air tankers (SEATS) , type 1 and type 2 helicopters provided water drops throughout yesterday to cool hot spots so firefighters could effectively attack the fire.

Crews continue structure protection along Crow Creek Bench and Crow Creek Road. Fire resources will continue to utilize direct and indirect line construction to implement a full suppression strategy.

The Crow Peak fire located 4 miles west of Spearfish, SD and 2 miles south of I-90 started June 24, 2016. resources include approximately 100 personnel, 1 Hot Shot Crew, 1 type 2 initial attack crew, 7 engines, 1 dozer and 2 water tenders. Estimated at 420 acres at 3:25 p.m. June 27, 2016 the cause is lightning.

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Sundays GPFI estimate of 420 acres is 313 current as of June 27, 2016 at 10:14 a.m.

** After talking with Great Plains PIO,  the acreage has been adjusted from a previous 400-420 estimated volume to a Monday morning GPS flyover with greater visibility and accuracy to an adjusted 313 acres. The fire is not contained and continues to spread.

Resources were on scene through the night. Crews conducted a burnout last night due to the spread of the fire which generated a 10 acre spot to the west. Most of the fire spread has been from rollouts and backing with some short range spotting. Any dramatic increase in wind will most likely indicate a big change in fire behavior.

Today fire resources will continue line construction and dozer line preparation. Burning operations may be initiated where necessary to protect values at risk. With the burning operations, there will be an increase of smoke. Aircraft support will continue to be an important asset for the construction of fire line and structure protection. There is a temporary flight restriction (TFR) in place above the fire.

The Type 2 Incident Management Team transitioned with the Type 3 Incident Management Team this morning.

 

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Shot Sunday afternoon at Crow Peak Fire on the wrong side of the fire to catch the drop. Photo:Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Crow Peak Fire, Spearfish, SD from I-90.Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Crow Peak Fire Spearfish, Sunday, June 27, 2016 . Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press

 

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Kay and Terry Caudill owners of Leavitt Heartland Insurance Services directly across the street from the Spearfish Northern Hills Ranger Station spruce up the building as the Crow Peak Fire burns in the background, Both Kay and Terry agree that,” The National Forest service people know what they are doing on Crow Peak”. Photo: Herb Ryan/Custer Free Press