If the weather cooperates, Wind Cave National Park will hold a prescribed burn near its headquarters area on Saturday
Chief of Interpretation Tom Farrell says the 676-acre fire is part of a nearly 50-year plan that uses prescribed burns to mimic the way natural fires historically shaped the vegetation mix in the Wind Cave area.
Farrell says prescribed burns are conducted only if conditions at the time of ignition fall within a narrow range of criteria.
Farrell says the Forest Service has no problem with postponing a burn if the criteria isn’t met at the appropriate time.
Farrell says they’ll begin with an operational briefing for firefighters at 9:30, followed by a small test burn sometime between 10:30 and 11:00. If the test burn is successful, the main fire will then be ignited.
The north and south Park Headquarters access roads and Hwy 385 through Wind Cave National Park may be closed periodically for up to an hour due to heavy smoke and nearby flames.
Trails and other locations will be closed to all but fire personnel during the burn and the Prairie Vista Trail could be closed for up to 2 weeks. Smoke might be visible until the next significant rain.