The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Wildland Fire Division, Custer State Park and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks are planning to ignite the Apple Tree prescribed fire on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Ignition will continue Thursday, Nov. 3, as conditions allow.
Firefighters are planning on burning approximately 624 acres. This project is located in Custer State Park, off of the southern end of the Wildlife Loop Road.
This interagency prescribed fire is a cooperative effort with grant funding provided by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. This grant funding helps meet land management objectives that otherwise could not have been accomplished due to budget constraints.
Objectives of the burn are to improve wildlife habitat, provide quality forage and reduce hazardous fuels in an effort to create and maintain a forested landscape that inhibits the spread of unwanted fire to the crowns of trees. Weather conditions will be monitored closely to ensure prescribed fire conditions align with management objectives for the burn.
Prescribed fire is used to maintain healthy native vegetation 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.
Smoke may be visible in the surrounding areas, and can linger for several days after ignition has been completed. Fire crews will secure, patrol and monitor fire lines as appropriate for public and firefighter safety. For more information on smoke management visit: http://gpfireinfo.blogspot.com/p/smoke-management.html.