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South Dakota Observes Wildfire Awareness Month During May



For Immediate Release: May 2, 2017
Media Contact: Jeni Lawver, 605.381.7232


South Dakota Observes Wildfire Awareness Month During May


RAPID CITY, S.D.— Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed May, 2017, as Wildfire Awareness Month in South Dakota. South Dakota has also joined with eight other western states in a separate multi-state proclamation.


This goal is to raise awareness of the dangers of wildfires and how citizens can protect themselves and their communities from these events. This year's theme, Do Your Part Before Wildfires Start, encourages homeowners to take steps to reduce the impacts of wildland fire. By doing home maintenance now, you can increase the chances your home has to survive a wildfire without fire department intervention.


The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Wildland Fire Division provides these tips to prepare for or prevent wildfires:
• Clean out gutters, roofs and other areas where debris has settled
• Avoid burning on windy days and never leave a burn pile unattended
• Maintain equipment to reduce sparks and check that trailer chains do not drag
• Create an evacuation plan and practice the route with family members
• Practice campfire safety by ensuring your fire is dead out before leaving the campsite
• Keep the space around your home clear of dense vegetation
• Take action in your community by organizing a wildfire preparedness event


Firewise information for the Great Plains can be found by visiting the Great Plains Fire Safe Council website at: www.gpfiresafecouncil.com. To learn more about Wildland Fire Awareness Month and to see a schedule of planned events, go to: www.sdwildfireawareness.com.


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 and preserve South Dakota agriculture for today and tomorrow. Visit SDDA online at http://sdda.sd.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter. SD Ag Chat podcasts can be found http://sdda.sd.gov/news. You may subscribe to SD Ag Chat, free of charge, through Google Play Music, iTunes or from https://sdagchat.podbean.com/.