RCFD using “April Fuels Day” to teach wildfire mitigation

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Well, Friday is April Fuels Day, and no, that’s not a misspelling.

The Rapid City Fire Department took the holiday to educate the public on fire season awareness and preparedness. “Fuels Day” started last year – jokingly – but the idea took off.

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Lt. Eric O’Connor, with Rapid City Fire Department’s Fire and Life Safety Division, leans against a wildland urban interface fire truck. Lt. O’Connor is also a wildland firefighter. (photo date: April 1, 2022)

Lieutenant Eric O’Connor, who works both for the Rapid City Fire Department and South Dakota Wildland Fire, says the changes in weather get more people outside and ups the fire risk. In these wildland urban interface areas, that spring cleaning you do inside is important to do outside.

“Clean the pine needles out of your gutters, off the decks, underneath the decks. Clear away from the firewood piles. Just kind of that general spring and clean up stuff,” Lt. O’Connor says.

O’Connor says anyone with questions about how to make their home safer and reduce wildfire risk can call the Fire and Life Safety Division at (605) 394-4114.

They can also visit with property owners to discuss those risks and what steps should be taken.

“Just really do a one-on-one property assessment, no obligations, just some really good coaching of what we can really share to make your home more defensible and survivable in the event of a wildfire,” Lt. O’Connor says.

CLICK HERE for more information on Rapid City Fire Department’s Fire and Life Safety Division.

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