Controlled burns used to manage habitat in northeast South Dakota

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Farm Forum

SAND LAKE — About 1,500 acres of land at the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge near Hecla were cleared Wednesday by a controlled burn set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Here are some facts about the flames and smoke residents of northeast Brown County might have noticed.

• The reason for starting the fire was to reduce wildfire fuel and brush in the area in order to manage habitat.

• Workers with the National Forest Service, National Parks Service, U.S. Air Force and other agencies participated in the training.

• It was one of a series of fires planned in South Dakota and Nebraska this year. In all, about 12,000 acres will be burned as part of the Great Plains Fire Management Zone plan. There have already been other controlled burns in the area this spring.

• There are controlled burns each year,starting in February.

• There was a second controlled burn in the region on Wednesday near Waubay. It cleared between 400 and 700 acres.

Source: Fire Management Officer ColbyCrawford of the Great Plains Fire Man-agement Zone.

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