Custer, SD - The U.S. Forest Service reminds the public that very high fire danger remains across the Black Hills area and everyone can help prevent human-caused fires by abiding by the restrictions that are in place. The Plains are reporting very high to extreme fire danger.
Local, state, and federal officials are meeting each week to discuss the need for fire restrictions as the season continues. They consider factors such as current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, fire activity, and available resources to determine whether fire restrictions need to be revised or maintained at the current level.
Craig Bobzien, Black Hills National Forest Supervisor, says, "The restrictions will remain in place until fire managers deem it is appropriate to rescind them." He adds, "We understand this may be inconvenient for residents and visitors, especially those wishing to enjoy a campfire. However, given the hot gusty winds and this year's fire activity, we need to take necessary precautions to prevent a human-caused fire from starting and growing rapidly."
While there have been occasional thunderstorms and showers the past week, these are generally isolated in nature and not widespread enough to lessen the overall fire danger. According to the National Weather Service, the potential for large fire growth remains over the area the early part of this week.
Fire restrictions are in effect for the Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District, which encompasses the following counties: Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, Custer, and Fall River.
Campfires in federal, state, local and private campgrounds are prohibited during the duration of these restrictions. The definition of campfires includes: Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal grill, coal, wood burning stove or sheepherder's stove.
Additional restrictions are in place on the Black Hills National Forest. For more information, please call 605-673-9200.