Grassland fire index extreme: Officials urge caution during harvest

2011-10-07T08:53:00Z Grassland fire index extreme: Officials urge caution during harvest Tri State Neighbor
October 07, 2011 8:53 am

RAPID CITY, S.D. - The South Dakota Division of Wildland Fire Suppression is asking everyone to take extra precautions to prevent wildfires over the next few days.

The warm and windy weather the state is currently experiencing makes conditions ripe for extremely fast moving prairie fires.

State wildland fire coordinator Joe Lowe is asking farmers to take precautions when they are in the field harvesting. Precautions such as having a disk in the field, locating water tanks nearby and blowing chaff off combines to minimize the potential for fires are all measures farmers should highly consider.

"Until the winds die down and conditions change, we will be looking at extreme fire danger for a large part of the state. We need to be cautious that we don't inadvertently start a fire," Lowe said.

An Extreme Fire Danger is in effect for all counties east of the Missouri River and the following West River counties: Corson, Dewey, Stanley, Jones, Lyman and Gregory.

The outlook for Oct. 7 is for the grassland fire danger to reach the very high to extreme categories.

A fire will start easily and have the potential to become large and spread quickly becoming erratic with extreme behavioral characteristics. No outdoor burning should take place.

Daily updates for the both the Black Hills Fire Danger and the Grasslands fire index can be viewed at South Dakota Division of Wildland Fire Suppression's website at


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