Recent wildfires preview active fire season

Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Monday saw a red flag warning in effect for western South Dakota.

The Black Hills is experiencing critical fire weather conditions including low humidity and strong winds, two factors that played a part in sparking recent wildfires.

Today, the fires are 100% contained but may only be a preview of what’s to come.

“Going into later half of June, July and August, that’s when our fire season definitely ramps up and this year with the drought situation and the warm and dry conditions that we are expecting through the summer months I think that we could have an active fire year, said Darren Clabo, South Dakota’s State Fire Meteorologist.

A spring with a lot of moisture is crucial in preventing wildfires later in the year. Despite a chance of snow in the upcoming days, the season remains dangerously dry.

“When we start the spring months this dry, it brings a lot of concern to myself and other fire managers. Right now, we are in kind of a dire situation when it comes to drought. We have a long-term perception deficit, So, this moisture that we are going to see this Tuesday and Wednesday of this week are definitely going to help, but it’s not really going to diminish the overall drought situation that we found ourselves in.”

Clabo urges people to be responsible and to visit the Firewise website at or contact the South Dakota wildland Fire Division for more information on how to prevent future fires.

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