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Danger of fire low as wet weather comes through

Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 5:15 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The Black Hills has seen some snow and cooler weather, but with warmer temperatures forecasted, does this mean we could also see some fire danger?

The fire administrator for Pennington County, Jerome Harvey, says fire crews are always prepared for any scenario and adds the 90-day forecast does not indicate any significant problems as far as wildland fires over the next 60 to 90 days.

Now some may wonder how the different weather we’ve been experiencing can impact fire danger.

“There’s cyclic nature as far as our weather patterns between wet cycles and dry cycles. It depends on how long the dry cycle lasts, and what is the wind pattern going to be, how much sun we will get, etc. As far as the drying of the fuel bed, the grass is the timber, etc., which really would affect the fire danger,” says Harvey.

During these drying trends that occur during the fall and winter months, Harvey says if you’re not doing things to prepare for winter, it always a good time to do fire adaptive practices around your house, like not stacking firewood next to your house and making sure the vegetation that’s cured and dry is pulled away from the house.

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