S.D. hunters asked to guard against grass fires | TSLN.com

S.D. hunters asked to guard against grass fires

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is asking hunters going into the field this fall to be diligent in not only preventing fires, but also detecting them.

While some parts of western South Dakota have an elevated fire danger, many parts of the state that started out with plenty of rain are currently dry.

“Rains throughout the spring and summer seasons created quality cover with tall, lush vegetation,” said Tom Kirschenmann, GFP terrestrial chief. “The dense cover is great for wildlife and will provide ample hunting opportunities. However, grass and woody plants will become more combustible as they freeze and dry.” Kirschenmann also stressed that hunters are a great help in reporting and catching fires early.

Take an active role in fire prevention this fall:

Carry a smartphone (or other cellular device) with a list of emergency contact numbers and know where quality cellular reception is available and not available.

Be aware of private landowners’ concerns about wildfires and carefully follow their restrictions.

Restrict driving to established roads and trails.

Park vehicles in designated areas away from tall vegetation.

Ensure catalytic converters and mufflers are in good repair.

Walk into hunting areas and walk out, including retrieval of game, whenever possible.

Camp only in designated camping areas and restrict the use of campfires.

Keep water, a bucket, shovel and other firefighting equipment in your vehicle.

Restrict smoking to vehicles and extinguish cigarettes appropriately.

“The key to fire safety is awareness,” concluded Kirschenmann. “Hunters should use common sense and be aware of the potential for wildfires, no matter what the conditions are like. Responsible actions will make a difference in protecting both property and wildlife resources.”

–S.D. Game, Fish and Parks

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