SPEARFISH — The Northern Hills Ranger District on the Black Hills National Forest is planning to ignite up to 200 acres on the Beartown Prescribed Fire Project this week, southwest of Spearfish, near Iron Creek Lake.
Firefighters will conduct a test burn this morning to check conditions and see if fuels are receptive for burning. If everything is within prescription and the test burn goes as planned, officials will continue with ignition today.
Additional units are also planned and may be carried out throughout the week if conditions are favorable.
Smoke may impact the communities of Spearfish, Lead, Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon, and residences along Forest Service Road 134.
“This could be a multiple day burn; possibly starting today, Monday November 30th, and, we may burn into Thursday December 3rd, if conditions warrant,” said Brian Rafferty, fuels specialist from North Zone Fire Management, Black Hills National Forest. “Resources from South Dakota Division of Wildland Fire and the City of Spearfish may assist with operations.”
The Beartown Project area is located approximately 8 miles south of Spearfish, SD and 12 miles west of Lead.
The primary objective of the prescribed burn is to reduce the intensity and severity of future wildland fires. Fire managers will use prescribed fire to reduce accumulations of woody debris (or slash) and common ground juniper. Additionally, the project will improve habitat for large game that enjoy the area.
There are multiple units of consideration off FSR 214. Fire officials said the roads in the area would remain open but ask drivers to use caution and slow down if driving in the area. With reduced visibility from smoke possible, please do not stop along the FSR 214 (Higgins Gulch Rd.), as this can create a hazard for fire vehicles in the area.
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