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Hazardous Fuels Mitigation Work Taking Place in Custer

South Dakota Department of Agriculture

News Release




For Immediate Release: January 29, 2015

Media Contact: Jeni Lawver, 605.381.7232


Hazardous Fuels Mitigation Work Taking Place in Custer


Custer S.D. — A hazardous fuels reduction project will soon begin at Big Rock Park on Pageant Hill in Custer. The need for this project is due to the overgrowth of trees and prolific Ponderosa pine regeneration. These trees act as a ladder for fire to get into the upper levels of the trees, increasing the intensity of the fire and making it more difficult to suppress.


Treatment will promote forest health by mimicking the natural effects fire would have on the landscape by removing the overgrowth of small trees while targeting deformed, diseased, storm damaged, and broken topped pine trees and encouraging deciduous tree growth. Remaining pine will be spaced an average of 30 feet between the crowns and limbed at least 10 feet from ground. This will result in a variety of healthy trees to increase forest diversity.


The South Dakota Wildland Fire Division fire crews will be doing the work which is expected to begin in early February and will continue into the spring before the project is completed. “Big Rock Park is an important recreation site and the City of Custer is excited to work in conjunction with South Dakota Wildland Fire to reduce the fire hazard and improve forest health on Pageant Hill,” says Custer Mayor Jared Carson.


If you have questions or comments about the project, you can contact Brandy Petersen, urban interface technician with the South Dakota Wildland Fire Division, at 605-394-2638.


Follow South Dakota Wildland Fire on Twitter @SDWildlandFire and on Facebook by searching SD Wildland Fire.


Agriculture is a major contributor to South Dakota’s economy, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 115,000 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 find us on Facebook and Twitter.