Hazardous fuels mitigation work taking place At Cabot Hill

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Farm Forum

RAPID CITY, S.D. — A hazardous fuels reduction project has begun in the Laurel Heights Subdivision, north of Interstate 90 on Cabot Hill. The need for this project is due to the overgrowth of trees and the increased dead and downed material due to storm damage, which increases fire intensity and complexity in the event of a fire.

Treatment will promote forest health by mimicking the natural effects fire would have on the landscape by removing unhealthy trees and creating improved conditions for remaining trees, shrubs and forbs. Treatment will target and remove deformed, diseased, storm damaged and broken topped pine trees while encouraging deciduous tree growth. The remaining trees will be spaced an average of 30 feet between the crowns and limbed at least 10 feet from ground reducing the risk of fire spread from the ground to the tops of the trees. This will result in a variety of healthy trees to increase forest diversity.

“Our main goal is to create survivable space around homes and prevent fire from getting into the tops of trees and becoming uncontrollable,” says Andrew Tate, urban interface specialist with South Dakota Wildland Fire Division.

Private contractors will be performing chipping and hand piling in the area. The contractor will burn any hand piles created when conditions are appropriate.

This project is funded through a federal grant, with no cost to the landowner.

If you have questions or comments about the project, you can contact Cassie Christy, urban interface technician with SD Wildland Fire Division at 605.394.5203.

Follow South Dakota Wildland Fire on Twitter @SDWildlandFire and on Facebook by searching SD Wildland Fire.