Wildfire crews in South Dakota assist firefighters in Northern California

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Rapid City, SD Wildfire season may be winding down for us here in the Black Hills but flames continue to rage in northern California and a group of firefighters here in the Hills are heading to the West Coast to help.

One hand crew of 20 firefighters made their way to California on Tuesday after being requested to help battle the blazes.

South Dakota Wildland Fire Division has at least one full hand crew working year round thanks to fuel management grants.

Normally these crews will work on burning slash piles and clearing ground fuels but will head to other states when emergencies call for it.

Ray Bubb, South Dakota Wildland Fire division chief says, "This time of year, especially when we talk about hand crew programs including Hot Shot crews, this is about the time that they demobilize for the year and so there's less hand crews available so the reach out if you have this type of resource can go far and wide actually across the entire United States.

As of Wednesday, over 120-thousand acres have been burned in Napa and Sonoma counties in northern California.