Complacency often the cause of early-season fires

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It's not too often that February provides the proper weather conditions to promote fires.

Temperatures climbing into the 70s, low humidity, and howling winds are all ingredients that promote the start and development of wildfires, all three of which we had Tuesday. Lieutenant Jim Bussell with the Rapid City Fire Department says complacency can be an issue since fires are usually no concern this time of year.

Public Information Officer for the RCFD Lt. Jim Bussell says, "There are just a lot of little things that people overlook. Throwing cigarette butts out the window, there are a lot of outdoor enthusiasts, and people out enjoying the outdoors, a lot of people who are maybe hiking or mountain biking or there's still people who are out ice fishing, be careful where you park your vehicle. Make sure that your exhaust isn't in the tall grass. The light fuels right now, the grasses especially are dry, dead, and very, very receptive.

When Rapid City is in the very high or extreme fire danger category like it was Monday, Bussell also reminds us that open burning is prohibited.