State fire officials summer forecast shows increased possibility of wildfires

State fire officials forecast a hot, dry summer in the state, which could bring an increased chance of wildfires.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Amid dry conditions and below normal precipitation in the Black Hills at this time, the State Fire Meteorologist held a briefing on the future outlook of wildfires in the state.

State Fire Meteorologist, Dr. Darren Clabo, showing that with a relatively dry 2020 and dry start to 2021, the wildfire situation in the state could see above average potential for fires in June through August.

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But while drought is a concern, he also says you should keep an eye on increased temperatures, which contributes to wildfire conditions.

“The other thing I want to mention with drought is again, hot temperatures,” Clabo said. “It’s not only the precipitation that we need to concern ourselves with, if we start getting some hot temperatures and especially with increased wind speeds, it really takes the moisture out of the soils and off the landscape and it really exacerbates those drought conditions.”

Clabo says that drought and high temperatures with low precipitation is a huge factor for large June and July wildfires.

And with the long range, Clabo says the situation is not forecasted to improve.

Categories: ConnectCenter1-Weather, Local News, South Dakota News