Catching wind of increasing fire risk in the Hills with gusts up to 75 MPH

Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 12:07 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - It would be difficult not to notice the high winds in the Rapid City area, which contribute to both the increased chances of a bad hair day and fire danger.

Jerome Harvey, Pennington County Fire Administrator, says the wind goes hand in hand with rapid fire growth. He says the risk is currently higher with dry fuel beds in the area, but as you start to get up to higher elevations fire risk can be mitigated with snow pack.

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen a good amount of snow cover according to Harvey.

Which, he calls a concern because it heightens the chances for potential wildfires, ”and yes, we’ve already seen grass fires since the first of the year. So, with the wind event, with the cured fuels -- you do have potential for rapid fire growth.”

Harvey says while they haven’t responded to a significant amount of fires in the past couple weeks there’s always a chance for it, and that it’s up to the public to be careful because so much as a spark could spur a wildfire. Those sparks tend to come from home projects, ranching, catalytic converters or anytime metal strikes against metal.

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