August sees above-average fire potential

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 5:34 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Although the summer’s hottest days so far are coming up at the tail end of July, the potential for a wildfire is not going away.

A wide swath of the northern great plains including parts of South Dakota is going into the 8th month of the year with above-average fire potential.

These conditions still carry over from a dry spring and are exacerbated by recent high temperatures.

South Dakota’s State Fire Meteorologist, Darren Clabo, warns everyone that even when the temperatures cool off fires are still able to spark.

“We have the most wildfires in terms of numbers in the month of July and that kind of tappers off a little bit going into August and then really going into the end of September and October it’s kind of what we call a shoulder season. The fire activity bumps back up because the grasses are typically completely cured at that point and then at winter time it’s really just dependent on snow cover. If we don’t have snow cover, we can get fires year-round,” said Clabo.

Clabo said it doesn’t take long for the grass to dry out and turn a brown shade. This is when it’s important to be fire-wise and ensure you are not the one causing the fire.

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