May is Wildfire Awareness Month in South Dakota

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed May 2018 as Wildfire Awareness Month in the State of South Dakota. South Dakota has joined ten other western states in a separate multi-state proclamation.

This year’s theme, One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire, encourages the public to take simple steps to reduce the impacts of wildland fire. Every citizen, especially those living in fire-prone areas, has an important role in preventing loss of life and property from wildfire events. Residents in areas with a potential for wildfires can lower the risk and severity of wildfires and reduce deaths, injuries and property losses through their preparedness efforts. Proactive actions from a single individual, or entire neighborhood, contribute to a safer community when wildfires happen.

Here are a few ways to prevent and prepare for wildfires:

Clean out gutters, roofs and other areas where debris has settled.

Avoid burning on windy days and never leave a burn pile unattended.

Maintain equipment to reduce sparks and check that trailer chains do not drag.

Create an evacuation plan and practice the route with family members.

Practice campfire safety by ensuring your fire is dead out before leaving the campsite.

Keep the space around your home clear of dense vegetation.

Take action in your community by organizing a wildfire preparedness event.

By doing a few basic home maintenance items now, you can significantly increase the chances your home has to survive a wildfire. Additional information on ways to prevent and prepare for wildfires can be found by visiting the Great Plains Fire Safe Council website at

South Dakota Wildland Fire can be found on Twitter @SDWildlandFire and on Facebook by searching SD Wildland Fire.