Prescribed burn planned in Sully County in mid May

April 27, 2023

PIERRE, SD: South Dakota Wildland Fire, in collaboration with South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks is planning a prescribed burn in part of the Little Bend Game Production Area (GPA) in Sully County in mid-May. Firefighters are planning to burn approximately 2,500 acres. The burn will help nurture a healthy prairie ecosystem at Little Bend and promote beneficial habitat for wildlife.

The precise date of the burn will be announced later based on weather and other conditions. Little Bend GPA is on a peninsula and surrounded on three sides by the waters of Lake Oahe. The prescribed burn will be conducted on the west end of the peninsula and contained on the east by a constructed fire break.

Prairies evolved with fire, and fire is a vital part of the prairie ecosystem. It has been several years since any part of the Little Bend GPA has burned. As a result, there are cool-season invasive plants and eastern red cedar trees invading this important native prairie land.

Objectives of the burn are to reduce the built-up thatch layer, decrease invasive cool season grasses, promote habitat for wildlife, reduce the risk of a catastrophic burn by reducing built-up fire fuel, promote interagency collaboration, and provide safe and quality training for fire crews.

Additional details will be provided when an official burn date has been determined.