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, visit

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, visit