More rain in KOTA Territory means fewer fires - KOTA Territory News

More rain in KOTA Territory means fewer fires


The Cascade Fire burning in the southern hills is one of only a few this year.

Fire danger has been lower this year than last due to the summer rains.

Does this mean the fire season is over?

"What a difference a year makes," said rancher, John Sides, regarding the moisture his ranch has received.

When walking through Sides' pastures it's easy to see that he's had plenty of rain, but at this time last year things were different.

"A year ago you didn't see green. Everything was brown," said Sides.

When everything is brown the threat of wildfires increases significantly, something sides knows about all to well.

"We had a big fire at the last of April," said Sides. "It burned 18,000 acres. Looking to the East this was all black."

So has the moisture this year played a part in having less wildfires?

"Yes, we have seen less than in years past," said  Mainly because of the moisture."

That moisture has left Sides feeling less worried about wide spread fires this year, but Steve Esser, assistant fire management officer in Hot Springs, said although the threat is lower you should never rule them out.

"you should always be worried about it," said Esser. "We have fuels that are available in the hills at all times of the year."

Either way Sides is happy for the time being.

"With the green grass growing its actually looking pretty decent, it has been quite a blessing," said Sides.

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