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Interagency Wildland Fire Training Saturday in Custer State Park

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, May 14, 2021

CONTACT: Jeni Lawver, Wildland Fire, 605-381-7232



Interagency Wildland Fire Training Saturday in Custer State Park


CUSTER, S.D. -- Local firefighting agencies throughout South Dakota will participate in the Black Hills Wildland Interagency Training (BHWIT) this Saturday, May 15, in Custer State Park as preparation for the upcoming fire season.


The BHWIT has opportunities for all levels of firefighters and will provide hands-on training for participants. This training also helps promote interagency teamwork and communication through integrated responses to wildland fire by using the Incident Command System.


“This training highlights the interagency partnerships that are involved in fighting wildland fires in South Dakota,” said Craig Price, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. “This is an opportunity for both new and seasoned firefighters to be trained and ready for whatever this upcoming fire season may bring.”



In addition to the ground exercises, the South Dakota National Guard Aviation Unit will conduct a joint training exercise which is designed to provide an annual refresher training for the Black Hawk Helicopter Unit as well as live training for ground personnel. Helicopter operations will take place in an area west of Highway 87 and south of Lower French Creek Road. The helicopters will be dipping water out of Stockade Lake near US Highway 16. In addition, a temporary helibase will be set up at the Custer State Park Airport. The public is advised to stay clear of these areas between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.


Due to increased traffic and fire engines moving at reduced speeds, the public should use caution when traveling in the park during the exercise.


The South Dakota Wildland Fire Division is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.