Great Plains Fire Tour visits the Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association
BROOKINGS — A team of professional firefighters recently met with members of the Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association (MMRPBA), in Bonesteel as part of the Great Plains Fire Tour. The team included professional firefighters from various government agencies, non-profit organizations and international firefighting agencies.
South Dakota was the last stop in a four-state tour which also included Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. The objective of the tour was to assist on prescribed fires and review prescribed burn plans created by a variety of agencies, organizations and local prescribed fire cooperatives throughout the Great Plains.
The tour travels with their own firefighting trucks, equipment and gear. All the firefighters completed their pack test and are National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWGC) I-100, S-130, S-190 and FEMA IS-700 certified.
“The MMRPBA was extremely grateful for the opportunity to spend time with this amazing group of firefighters and we hope to see them again next year,” said Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension range management field specialist.
The MMRPBA had several prescribed burns scheduled for the tour in South Dakota. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative. So, the MMRPBA asked the tour group to review burn plans for the upcoming burn season and spent some time discussing goals and challenges of cedar tree control and rangeland health within the Missouri River corridor in south-central South Dakota.
“Due to the extremely rugged terrain within the Missouri River Corridor, the MMRPBA sought advice on conducting prescribed burns in such difficult terrain with high fuel loads,” Kelly said. “The tour group provided excellent advice on different ignition sequences as well as advice on including multiple landowners on one prescribed burn to simplify the terrain difficulties.”
The MMRPBA was established in 2016 to control cedar tree infestation and improve grassland health by conducting prescribed fires on land along the Missouri River and surrounding areas. Kelly is involved in the organization through his role with SDSU Extension.
To learn more about the impact prescribed burns can have on your rangeland, contact Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.