Fire Prevention

Did you know…nearly nine out of 10 wildfires are caused by people? It's always wildfire season somewhere in the United States and every region of the country has wildfires. Wildfires are one of the greatest threats to our nation's forests today. Wildfires know no boundaries and can happen on federal lands, state forests, and right outside your home. No matter where you are, it is essential to be aware of dry and hazardous conditions and always practice fire safety. Here are just a few ways you can help prevent wildfires:

The goal of the fire prevention and community preparedness program is to reduce the number of human-caused wildfires and educate homeowners, who live in South Dakota's Wildland Urban Interface, on how to take measures to protect their homes, property and personal safety. Public outreach and education is the driving force of these programs, this is primarily done through promoting and partnering cooperating agencies, the Wildfire Awareness Month planning committee, and the Great Plains Fire Safe Council!


Fire Restrictions

Know before you go! If your vacation will take you outdoors, check the Black Hills Fire Restrictions website for the most up-to-date information on fire restrictions.


Fire Incident Information

If you have questions about a specific fire or are making travel plans to the Great Plains area, the Great Plains Fire Information blog is the best source for information for small fires while Inciweb covers large fires. The National Interagency Fire Center website also provides information, including a daily fire situation report.


Fire Investigations and Fire Trespass

South Dakota Wildland Fire Division is mandated by law to determine the origin and cause of wildfires within our jurisdiction. The fire prevention program uses this information to help ensure that the prevention messages being used are pertinent to what human-caused fires are occurring.

All wildfires which occur on or that damage state and private lands are investigated and cost recovery actions taken to recover the cost of suppression paid by the State of South Dakota. Even the smallest of fires can cost several thousand dollars; the larger more complex fires, millions. Those costs do not include the loss of homes, the memories and belongings of homeowners, or in the worst case scenario, the loss of human life.

Most human-caused wildfires are preventable. Think of the consequences and do your part to prevent wildfires before they start.


To request a visit from Smokey Bear at your school or special fire/safety event, please send an email to: or call 605-393-8011.
Requests must be received at least a month in advance and must also meet certain criteria to be eligible. Smokey Bear cannot attend commercial "mascot events" or private functions such as birthday parties.

For more information regarding how the division can assist you with fire prevention and preparedness needs, contact:
Jeni Lawver
Fire Prevention and Public Information Officer
3305 West South Street
Rapid City, SD 57702



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