August 26, 2020

PIERRE, S.D. –The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is asking hunters going into the field this fall to be diligent in preventing and detecting fires under the extreme dry conditions in certain parts of the state.

Tom Kirschenmann, director for the Division of Wildlife, stressed that hunters are helpful in preventing and catching fires early. “Hunters are among our very best fire-prevention tools,” he added. “With their precautions, thoughtful actions and diligence in watching the horizon, we have extra sets of eyes in the field that are valuable in preventing and reporting wildfires.”

Hunters are an active part of fire prevention by preparing for and observing the following:

Carry a phone with a list of emergency contact numbers.
Know where cell service is available or not available.
Be aware of private landowners’ concerns about wildfires, and carefully follow restrictions that landowners place on hunters.
Restrict driving to established roads and trails.
Park vehicles in designated areas away from tall vegetation.
Ensure that catalytic converters and mufflers are in good repair.
Walk into hunting areas and walk out, including retrieval of game, whenever possible.
Camp only in designated areas and restrict the use of campfires.
Keep water, a bucket, shovel and other firefighting equipment in your vehicle.
Hunt in the early morning when high humidity reduces fire danger.
“The key to fire safety is awareness,” concluded Kirschenmann. “We ask that hunters use common sense and be aware of the potential for wildfires no matter what the conditions are each fall. Responsible actions can make a difference in protecting both property and wildlife habitat.”