SPEARFISH… Black Hills State University photography student Caleb Munger has an exhibition Thursday, Jan. 26 from 5-7 p.m. in the Emerging Artists Gallery at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City.
Caleb is a firefighter from Newcastle, Wyo. and has spent the past year creating a body of work illustrating the perils, triumphs, and human experience from the perspective of the firefighters themselves. His work gives us a glimpse into the realm of firefighting, which is not often seen.
Portion of Artist Statement: “As a photographer I want to document the world of firefighting. Being a third-generation volunteer fire fighter, as well as a seasonal fire fighter with the US Forest Service, has had an enormous influence on my work. The fire service is filled with adrenaline, excitement, and devastation. I want to show the primal beauty of fire while showing the dangerous and courageous acts of firefighters and firefighting.”
Travel Caution Due to Strong Winds and Blowing Snow
November 30, 2016
PIERRE S.D. – State officials have reopened Interstate 90 to traffic between Spearfish Exit 14 and Piedmont Exit 44 in both directions.
I-90 was reopened from Exit 44 to Exit 55 Tuesday evening and there are some No Travel Advisories in place in the north central part of the state, west of the Missouri River.
U.S. Highway 85 remains closed from the Wyoming state line to Highway 14A due to a hazardous spill from an overturned tanker truck.
Drivers are reminded that winter driving conditions still exist on I-90 and on many highways especially in western and central South Dakota. Motorists can expect snow packed and slippery areas, possible blowing and drifting snow, and low visibility at times as the expected 20-40 mph winds continue across the state today.
If you are travelling, you should reduce speed, turn off cruise control, wear your seat belt and leave extra space between you and other vehicles. High-profile vehicles such as semi-trucks and campers should use extreme caution.
Open Fires Prohibited on Black Hills National Forest in Wyoming
Custer, SD —Acting Forest Supervisor Jim Zornes has signed an order prohibiting use of open fire on all National Forest System lands administered by the Black Hills National Forest within the State of Wyoming. The order is effective immediately and shall be in effect until rescinded or until December 31, 2016 whichever occurs first.
The order prohibits:
1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, barbecue, grill or stove fire is prohibited. The exception to this allows use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, pressurized liquid fuel or a fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a ¼” spark arrester type screen is permitted.
Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A kept with the operator, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use.
Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of at least 2A.
Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. § 261.50 (e), the following persons are exempt from specified Prohibitions of this order:
1)Persons with a permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission may be eligible for an exemption from Prohibitions #1, #3, #4, and #5.
2) Any federal, state or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty is exempt from Prohibitions #1, #3, #4, and #5
“Drought conditions persist in the area creating very high to extreme fire conditions. This order is necessary for the protection of public safety, public and private property, and the natural resources within the Black Hills National Forest in the state of Wyoming,” said Steve Kozel, Bearlodge District Ranger.
The Black Hills National Forest has a volatile wildfire profile due to the ponderosa pine fuel type and unique weather thus fire prevention is important. Conditions are expected to persist throughout the summer creating high potential for large fire development causing public safety and natural resource concerns.
Sundance, WY – Black Hills National Forest officials announced the opening of Cook Lake Recreation area near Sundance, Wyoming.
The area is now open to the public for day use only between the hours of 7am and 7pm. Day use will continue unless monitoring indicates changes in landslide conditions or there is significant precipitation duration or intensity causing the land to become unstable.
“Although the recreation area is open, a closure order for the slide area on the southwest side of the lake has been enacted prohibiting public access and use including a portion of the Cook Lake Trail (#88) for purposes of public safety,” said Steve Kozel, Bearlodge District Ranger.
Cook Lake recreation area has been closed since May 2014 for public health and safety concerns from landslide activity on the west hillside of the recreation area.
“Forest officials have worked with researchers from the Colorado School of Mines to assess the stability of the landslide and potential impacts to the campground,” said Kozel. The Colorado School of Mines recently provided the U.S. Forest Service with a landslide stability analysis report. Information from this report was used by Forest officials to complete a risk assessment and a recommendation report for public use of the area.
Monitoring equipment will be installed to provide real time information on landslide conditions at the site. Forest officials will monitor precipitation amounts, lake levels, and the landslide activity to make timely decisions on continued operations and use at the site to reduce potential risk to the public.
Cook Lake recreation area consists of 32 campsites and 12 picnic units. The complex includes two hiking trails, Cook Lake Trail and Cliff Swallow Trail.