The prairie and forested ecosystems that consist of the geographical area that is now known as South Dakota has historically seen frequent occurrence of wildfire in both grass and timber fuel models. See historic fire frequency.

Using easily accessed research tools on any internet search browser will lead any interested researcher or historian to a plethora of information on large wildland fires that have burned throughout the historical record of settlement in the northern Great Plains. In addition, excellent tree ring research has been done to document fire occurrence, extent and severity before recorded settlement activities. Using the US Forest Service “Treesearch” internet search engine, will lead to further information on fire return intervals, fire history and wildfire's role in the ecosystem management in this region. Therefore, the following is not a complete history of large wildfire activity in the state of South Dakota, but just a brief summary of historical events leading to the present day situation.




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