Prescribed Burn at Custer State Park set for April 24


South Dakota Wildland Fire is planning a prescribed burn in coordination with Custer State Park on Wednesday April 24, 2024, in the northwestern quarter of the park. The burn area is about 2 miles north of the Park Visitor Center and is not accessible via paved roads. Mop-up and monitoring will continue in the following days. If weather conditions are not favorable Wednesday, the burn will be rescheduled.

Firefighters plan to burn 44 acres in a bowl shaped, relatively open meadow containing some Ponderosa Pine trees and surrounded by timbered hillsides. This area within CSP is known as Round Park.

Prescribed burn treatments are carefully planned. Some key objectives in this treatment include promoting prairie/rangeland restoration, reducing pine encroachment, removing most of the thatch layer thereby enhancing growth of native warm season grasses, and hindering growth of invasive cool season grasses. 

Fire also reduces hazardous debris and dead vegetation buildup, which can fuel wildfires.

If you see smoke in the air above this area or surrounding areas on the 24th, please be aware this is a planned event.

Fire crews will secure, patrol, and monitor fire lines as appropriate for public and firefighter safety.

Custer State Park will be open as usual, but visitors should expect delays near the prescribed burn area. For more information about park accessibility please contact the park at 605.394.2693.