The moisture we received in 2013 made South Dakota's wild fire season a relatively quiet one, this coming on the heels of a 2012 season that saw drought and numerous damaging fires across the state. So, what can we expect for 2014?
According to South Dakota Fire Meteorologist, Darren Clabo, 2014 looks to be in good shape. Rapid City averages 17 inches of liquid water per year and as of this month we are on pace to be over that mark.
Another indicator of a quiet fire season outlook is a heavy snowpack. According to Claybo, last years snowpack is very similar to this years, which should translate to average or below average fire risk this year. "Well, we're looking similar to 2013," said Claybo. "We've gotten a lot of snow this winter time. The blizzard we had in October left a lot of moisture in the ground. So, plants are going to be pretty vigorous coming up this spring and hopefully we'll retain some moisture this summer." On the flip side, Claybo warned there could be potential for more flooding in the spring with all the moisture.