Forest Service to Conduct Prescribed Burn
On Monday April 23, weather permitting, the Fort Pierre National Grassland plans to conduct a prescribed burn on the south end of the National Grassland.
The two burn units to be included are located in the Dry Hole Chester unit: T106N, R79W, Sec. 8 (approximately 320 acres) and the Chester Middle unit: T106N, R79W, Sec 5 (approximately 480 acres. These units are located along the west side of SD Hwy 83; 23 miles south of Fort Pierre or 5 miles north of Vivian, South Dakota. The goal of burning these units is to reduce flammability and to create a vegetative disturbance in areas that have not been burned or grazed in several years due to a lack of reliable water.
“We’ve seen an improvement in grassland health from our previous prescribed burns, such as better native grass vigor and diversity; so we want to continue to use that tool in our tool box” added Ruben Leal, Fort Pierre District Ranger. In order to ensure that the objectives of the project are met and that the burn stays inside designated control lines, specific conditions have been established for this project. The burn will not be implemented unless weather conditions including wind speed, wind direction, humidity, and smoke dispersal fall within specific ranges. Control lines have been mowed around the boundary of the unit and fire retardant foam will be utilized on the day of the burn to keep the fire from spreading beyond the control line.
The burn will be managed by personnel from the Nebraska National Forest and Grasslands, as well as partners from other state and federal agencies and local Volunteer Fire Departments. Personnel from the Fort Pierre National Grassland will notify adjacent landowners, law enforcement entities and local fire departments on the actual day of the prescribed burn. Smoke may be visible from Interstate 90 and from the communities of Vivian, Draper, Presho, Murdo, Kennebec, Pierre and Fort Pierre. Other residents and communities may see or smell smoke from the prescribed burn.