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Wildfire Preparation Tips for Property Owners



For Immediate Release: Sept. 21, 2011

Contact: Beth Hermanson at 605-393-8011


Wildfire Preparation Tips for Property Owners


PIERRE, S.D. - Mountain pine beetles have infested thousands of acres throughout the Black Hills.  The millions of dead trees killed by the beetles provide an environment where catastrophic wildfires could spread rapidly, causing severe risk to life and property.


As part of the Black Hills Forest Initiative, home and business owners are reminded to make their properties more defendable in the event of a wildfire.


Implementing the following practices can reduce a building’s exposure to radiant heat and direct-flame contact during a wildfire:


·         Create a 100-foot area of defensible space around buildings by removing dead vegetation and other plant material

·         Thin trees, remove low-hanging limbs, and prune shrubs within the 100-foot zone

·         Remove leaves and rubbish from under and around structures

·         Remove dead branches that extend over roofs

·         Clear the area around propane tanks

·         Remove pine needles or leaves from roofs and gutters

·         Prune tree branches and shrubs within 15 feet of stovepipes or chimney outlets

·         Remove wood piles next to buildings or other structures

·         Have your home addressed with numbers at least 2 ½ inches high so they are easy to see

·         Plant fire resistant plants next to buildings

·         Have a disaster plan in place prior to the wildfire event

·         Identify an emergency egress route that will not be compromised by a fire


Now is the time to complete these recommendations because the wildfire season is not over.  Property owners with questions on being better prepared for wildfires can call the South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Division of Wildland Fire Suppression at 605-393-8011.


For additional information on addressing mountain pine beetles in the Black Hills, visit www.BeattheBeetles.com .


Agriculture is South Dakota’s No. 1 industry, generating nearly $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 143,000 South Dakotans.  The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow.  Visit us online at http://sdda.sd.gov or follow us on Facebook.


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