As temperatures dry out the danger of fire increases
It's been one of the wettest years on record in the Black Hills, making for perfect growing conditions. But when all the grass and vegetation dries out, it's a recipe for wildfire.
"As far as advising our firefighters throughout the county and throughout the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands of potential concerns concerning the sweet clover outbreak and the amount of fuel that could potentially cure out over a period of time that exists or hidden below the sweet clover canopy," said Pennington County Fire Administrator Jerome Harvey.
There is no immediate threat, but the vegetation is growing like crazy. Sweet clover can grow six feet high, which is the perfect fuel for fires that have already started nearby.
"And they did occur under some very perfect conditions. The fire at that point in time did carry in the fuel bed or fuel grasses that exist or hidden underneath the canopy of the sweet clover," said Harvey.
A fire so hot, even rocks can burn. All that's needed is for the lush vegetation to cure. Hot weather doesn't help.
"We've been in a wet trend most of the summer, spring, and summer. There are some areas that have not received moisture that we have not had here locally," said Harvey. "We also have some of these grassy areas that have also been beaten down by hail and as a result, it's already cured out."
There is no immediate threat right now, but the moisture from spring is slowly drying out and as we get close to fall, the danger of fire increases