Dry bush, wind, and warm temperatures are a bad formula for fires, unfortunately that's the recipe cooking throughout KOTA Territory.
Recent fires in the Southern Hills and yesterday's fire in Rapid City sparked concerns about fire danger. What looked like a standard grass fire last night may be a sign of an early fire season.
According to State Fire Meteorologist, Darren Clabo, KOTA Territory is experiencing an exceptional drought.
Due to the lack of moisture in the soil, and hot winter weather, many of the grasslands are extremely dry and brittle.
"Fire is a very natural thing in the eco system out here," Clabo said. "And if we're going to live around it then we just have to be aware of our surroundings."
The good news is that wet season is ahead of us. The months April through June account for 50 percent of the years precipitation, according to Clabo.
Last year South Dakota had a very high fire season, but firefighter response time should be no different.
According to the State Wildland Fire, there have been no cuts in funding, and seasonal engine staff will be the same as last year.