Black Hills National Forest Still Limiting Access To Damage Area From Mon Tornado

CUSTER, S.D. (AP) – Citing safety issues, U-S Forest Service officials are continuing to urge the public to limit their activities for the time being in the parts of the Black Hills National Forest hit by the Stateline tornado on Monday.

A reconnaissance flight measured a 17 mile perimeter around the tornado with a path that covered 3,445 acres.

The Forest Service says hazards including snags, twisted tree trunks, and hanging limbs make travel unsafe in the damage area with crews continuing to open roads and trails that suffered downed trees from the tornado.

Commercial timber sales were already active in the area before the twister and additional salvage operations are being planned – both commercial and cutting firewood. The Forest Service says opportunities for firewood gathering will come later this summer or early fall.