Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Swint Well Prescribed Fire to Continue at Custer State Park

For Immediate Release: April 13, 2016
Contact: Jeni Lawver, 605.381.7232

Swint Well Prescribed Fire to Continue at Custer State Park

RAPID CITY, S.D.- The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Wildland Fire Division, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, and Custer State Park will continue the Swint Well prescribed burn in Custer State Park. Firefighters are planning on burning approximately 800 acres.

This burn is scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 14. The Swint Well prescribed fire project is located in the southeast corner of Custer State Park near the Wildlife Visitor Station.

Firefighters successfully completed 395 acres of Unit 1 in the Swint Well prescribed fire area and 595 acres in the South Fork area at Custer State Park Tuesday.

Resource objectives for the burn include improving range conditions and grass habitat for wildlife.

Prescribed fire objectives include providing the seasonal firefighter work force the opportunity to improve their skills prior to fire season, to provide for trainee firefighters to work on task books to become qualified in positions in a more controlled manner with proper oversight of qualified firefighters, and to provide interagency cooperation.

Benefits also include providing the opportunities to improve relationships with adjacent property owners and agencies.

Prescribed fire is utilized to maintain healthy native vegetation communities and is needed to prevent the encroachment of invasive species.  Fire also reduces the hazardous buildup of debris and dead vegetation which can fuel wildfires.

Residents and visitors in the surrounding area of the prescribed burn may see smoke. This burn will primarily take place in grass fuels, so residual smoke should be limited. The area will continue to be monitored by firefighters.

Additional plans have been made with contingency resources in the event of an escape; resources will be present to assist for an additional margin of safety.

Participating agencies include:  South Dakota Wildland Fire, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, National Park Service, Custer State Park, Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands and the Black Hills National Forest.