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Helicopter Exercise in Custer State Park at Stockade Lake

South Dakota Department of Agriculture

News Release


For Immediate Release:  May 2, 2018

Media Contact: Jeni Lawver, 605.381.7232



Helicopter Exercise in Custer State Park at Stockade Lake

RAPID CITY, S.D- The South Dakota Wildland Fire Division will be administering an annual fire aviation certification to the South Dakota National Guard Aviation Unit in Custer State Park at Stockade Lake on Friday, May 4. 


This yearly certification, required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Interior, allows South Dakota National Guard Black Hawk helicopters to respond to wildland fires. 


Crews will be tested on fire aviation procedures to ensure safety and accuracy of helicopters when dropping water on a target.


Flight operations will begin at 10 a.m. and last until 3 p.m.   


Recreational users in the Stockade area are urged to use caution on the west end of the lake.  Those who use the Custer State Park Airport are advised to be alert for helicopters utilizing the airport facilities as a helibase. 


South Dakota Wildland Fire can be found 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 and preserve South Dakota agriculture for today and tomorrow. Visit us online at http://sdda.sd.gov or find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.