Black HillsTowns Asked to Prepare for Fire
Newsroom - 06/19/2012
Emergency Officials in the Black Hills are asking small town residents to get ready for wildfire. Officials are planning informational meetings in the towns of Keystone and Hill City. SDPB's Charles Michael Ray reports that fire crews want to be prepared in the event of a large scale fire.
In 2002 the Grizzly Gulch fire forced the evacuation of the entire town of Deadwood--and officials want towns in fire prone areas of the Black Hills to be ready if a major wildfire again forces a mass evacuation. Brian Mueller is Pennington County's Chief Sherriff Deputy.
"As you know when these things kick off they happen very quickly and once they start you know you're really past the point of any type of preparation being able to help so we want people to think about this before one of these occurs and help everybody be more calm in dealing with evacuations in dealing with these large scale fires," says Mueller.
Wildfires in Colorado and Wyoming have burned an upwards of 200 homes this year to date. With so many fires burning across the Western United States some worry about a lack of resources if a major fire erupts in the Black Hills. Mueller says there are adequate local resources to mount an attack against a large Black Hills wildfire.
"Our hope would be that if we get a large scale fire kick off in this part of the country that we do have adequate resources here that could do the initial attack on the fire until we get additional resources here to assist," says Mueller.
Officials from Pennington County and the communities of Keystone and Hill City, SD are hosting informational meetings next week in Keystone and Hill City on the fire danger.
Several local and county officials are giving short presentations on fire danger and behavior, law enforcement response to evacuations, emergency preparedness, the Pennington County reimbursement program and other topics specific to each community. The presentations should last approximately 30 minutes leaving time for citizen comments, questions, and open dialogue for the last 30 minutes.
Meeting locations, dates and times are as follows:
- Monday, June 25, 2012--5:30 pm to 6:30 pm--Keystone Community Center, 1101 Madill St., Keystone, SD
- Tuesday, June 26, 2012--5:30 pm to 6:30 pm --Hill City City Hall, 243 Deerfield Rd., Hill City, SD
Click here to play Real Media: