South Dakota Wildland Fire says the 'Section 2 prescribed burn' crews performed over a year ago is what helped slow down the spread of the Cold Fire flames, making it possible for fire-fighting resources to scoot in and contain the fire quickly.
Matt Spring of the Hell Canyon Ranger District says, "It created a safe anchor point, what we call as a place for firefighters to safely work from, and we conducted some burnout operations, and we were able to hold the fire in its place with some existing lines from the prescribed burn."
South Dakota Wildland Fire also says the prescribed burn helped to rejuvenate the area and increase foliage for wildlife.
They say multiple agencies are able to pull together when performing a prescribed burn, but also when it comes to tackling the flames.
Jay Esperance, Director of South Dakota Wildland Fire says, "None of us can handle a large fire by ourselves and we look to our partners for hel. We've done a lot of training together. We all speak the same language, have the same set of standards, and we have the same communication, working for the same objective."
Along with South Dakota Wildland Fire, The U.S. Forest Service, Custer State Park, Wind Cave National Park, and a private landowner were all instrumental in what they are calling a true success story and say other agencies might be able to learn from their operations.