Fire restrictions placed on Nebraska National Forest, Grasslands

Staff Writer

Prolonged high temperatures coupled with below average precipitation for the summer has created favorable wildfire conditions across Nebraska and South Dakota. Due to these climatic conditions and heavy fire activity both regionally and nationally, the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands is implementing Stage 1 Fire Restrictions for all administered lands in Nebraska and South Dakota immediately.

The purpose of this order is to protect public health and safety due to the current and anticipated elevated risk of wildfire and covers the following districts: Fall River Ranger District (Hot Springs, SD), Wall Ranger District (Wall, SD), Fort Pierre Ranger District (Fort Pierre, S.D.), Bessey Ranger District (Halsey, Neb.), and the Pine Ridge Ranger District (Chadron, Neb.).

Under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions the following are prohibited:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire. This includes barbecues and grills. Except within developed recreation sites.
- Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
- Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A kept with the operator, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use.
- Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of at least 2A.
- Using an explosive.

If you have questions or concerns about the area you are planning to visit, please contact the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands Supervisor’s office at 308-432-0300. You can also visit www.fs.usda.gov/nebraska for more details.

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