Springtime prescribed burn projects planned for Meade County

(BELLE FOURCHE, S.D.) – The Bureau of Land Management will be conducting prescribed burns this spring on the Fort Meade Recreation Area near Sturgis as soon as conditions permit.

Treatment is planned near the Old VA Cemetery and north of Alkali Creek Campground. Approximately 560 acres will be burned. Smoke will likely be visible from Interstate 90, State Highway 34, State Highway 79 and the city of Sturgis. Smoke will be monitored to minimize impacts to sensitive areas.

Multiple days of burning will be required in order to meet project objectives. Burning will only take place when weather conditions are conducive to safe operations and local authorities will be notified prior to any burning taking place.

The purpose of these prescribed burn projects is to reduce Ponderosa pine stand densities and restore a more balanced pine-savanna habitat. It will also rejuvenate rangeland and wildlife habitat and reduce fuel loads that may contribute to future wildfires.

The proposed treatments are part of a larger national wildfire reduction strategy guided by President Trump’s Executive Order 13855 – Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and Other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk, as well as Secretary’s Order 3372 – Reducing Wildfire Risks on Department of the Interior Land through Active Management.

The two orders direct Department of the Interior (DOI) and Department of Agriculture agencies to implement policies to improve forest and rangeland management practices by reducing hazardous fuel loads, mitigating fire risk and ensuring the safety and stability of local communities through active management on forests and range lands.

For information call the South Dakota Field Office at 605-892-7000.