Thursday, November 10, 2016

211 Helpline Center and Great Plains Fire Information Partner on Area Fire Alert Messaging

Subscribe by texting 'GPFire' to 898211

Rapid City, SD
- Great Plains Fire Information, comprised of the Black Hills National Forest, Nebraska National Forest and Grasslands and South Dakota Wildland Fire Division, is partnering with the 211 Helpline Center to notify the public of significant fire activity within the Great Plains geographical area (Black Hills and surrounding areas) using text messaging.

To subscribe, text ‘GPFire’ to 898211. Text ‘STOP’ to cancel at any time.

Notification text will be sent to those who subscribe on significant fire activity, including wildland and prescribed fires within the Great Plains Dispatch Zone.

“We are always looking for ways to improve communications during a wildland fire or prescribed fire that may draw interest due to its location, size and/or impacts it’s having on a community,” said Scott Jacobson, Black Hills National Forest Public Affairs Officer. “Almost everyone has a phone that can receive a text and this gives us another avenue we can reach people with critical fire alerts and messaging.”

Fire officials partnered with 211 to use this texting feature during the Crow Peak fire that occurred near Spearfish, SD last summer. “We had great success in keeping the public informed on the status of the fire and area closures,” said Brenda Bowen, Crow Peak Fire Public Information Officer.

Public Information Officers (PIOs) from Federal and State agencies continue to work together to distribute information about initial attack fires within the Great Plains initial attack zone. Along with this new texting feature, area fire information can be obtained via one common phone number, e-mail, blog, and Twitter account.

Great Plains Fire Information/PIO Contact Information: