Lead District Office
Call 911 to report a smoke or fire sighting.
The Lead District Office is located in the historical mining area of Lead, SD. It was originally in the old Nevada Gulch School House which is currently the GFP Rails to Trails Office. The Lead District Office is currently co-located with the Lead Fire Department in the new fire station which was finished in 2012.
The office hosts a 3-person permanent staff and 3-person seasonal engine crew. The Lead District Office is responsible for fire management issues in Lawrence, Butte and Harding Counties. The engine crew's work focuses primarily on training, maintenance, and fire suppression.
District Office Overview
The Lead District Office hosts one Type 6 wildland engine and one Type 3 engine.
Seasonal firefighters are started in late April to early May and are released in mid - October with full staffing from June through September.
The normal fire season for the Northern Black Hills varies slightly from the rest of the Black Hills in that it usually has an early fire season prior to green-up, then, in early summer the fire season is less intense than the rest of the Black Hills with a return to fire season again in the fall after fuels cure out.
The area surrounding Lead and Deadwood was exempted from the Black Hills National Forest when it was established in 1905 due to the abundance of mining claims and private ownership. All of the federal land within this "exemption area" is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Wildland Fire Division has an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the BLM to provide initial attack on any fires within this area.
Due to the heavy fuel loadings of the forest in Lawrence County, some major wildland fires can erupt during drought episodes. The Deadwood Fire in 1959 and Grizzly Gulch Fire in 2002 are good examples. In addition, Lawrence County Board of Commissioners and Planning and Zoning has tasked this office to conduct a formal review of subdivision development in the county. Many Firewise practices get adopted in new housing developments.
A lot of time by this office is spent dealing with Harding County fire issues. Harding County has 230,000 acres of School and Public Lands, 9,000 of which are forested. Harding County falls under the jurisdiction of the Miles City Dispatch Center, which is in the Northern Rockies Region.
This office prides itself on the good relations that we have with Harding County landowners and the elected officials and we work hard to maintain those good relationships.
In addition, we work hard with Montana State and Federal agencies to assist with fire suppression management in that part of the country. Examples of major wildland fires include the Sheep Draw Fire and Moonshine Fire which both took place in 2015 in Harding County.