South Dakota

South Dakota

Fuels Treatment Slows Wildfire, Saves Homes

Huron Wetland Management District - 2003

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fire specialists have been controlling vegetation here to reduce wildfire risk to several local communities.

One of these projects paid off on April Fools Day during the 400-acre Shull wildfire, which started on private land in the community of Virgil. The wildfire burned in dense fuel, and resisted all efforts to contain it until it burned into the area that the Service treated with prescribed fire year before. Once the fire reached the previously treated area, flames became lower and slower, allowing firefighters to mount a safe and effective attack. Local volunteer firefighters impressed, saying they were going to recommend prescribed treatment to more private lands in the area to further reduce the risk of wildfire.

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