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Training Exercise Taking Place in Custer State Park

South Dakota Department of Agriculture News Release


For Immediate Release: July 24, 2019

Media Contact: Jeni Lawver, 605.381.7232


Training Exercise Taking Place in Custer State Park


Rapid City, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Wildland Fire Division is planning an interagency live fire training exercise within the boundaries of Custer State Park. This event is expected to take place on Thursday, July 25 if fuel and weather conditions allow. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, Black Hills National Forest, and Great Plains Interagency Dispatch Center will also participate. 


The objectives of this exercise are to offer firefighters the opportunity to work on their trainee qualifications during a slow fire season and maintain quality interagency relationships.


“We are providing the opportunity for firefighters to maintain currency and accomplish tasks required for advancing qualifications,” said burn boss trainee John Haskvitz. “It has been a slower fire season nationally and this exercise is intended to reduce firefighter complacency and provide them the opportunity to engage in safe firefighting practices.”


Firefighters plan on igniting approximately ten small fires (less than .10 acre each) just south of the Blue Bell Lodge gate.


Smoke may be visible in the surrounding areas and can linger for several days after ignition has been completed. Fire crews will secure, patrol and monitor fire lines as appropriate for public and firefighter safety. For more information on smoke management visit:  http://gpfireinfo.blogspot.com/p/smoke-management.html.


South Dakota Wildland Fire Division can be found on Facebook by searching SD Wildland Fire and on Twitter @SDWildlandFire. 


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 sdda.sd.gov or find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.