Visitor Center Open
Construction crews are replacing the parking lot in front of the visitor center. Please follow the signs, park in the side lot, and use the side doors. The Ben Reifel Visitor Center remains open every day from 8 am to 4 pm.
Multi-Agency Response to Fire
Contact: Jennie Albrinck, 605-433-5240
Contact: Julie Johndreau, 605-433-5242
BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, Interior, S.D. - Fire crews from Badlands National Park, the Interior Fire Department, the Wall Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service responded to a report of a fire on private land approximately 4 miles south of the park today. Smoke was visible from the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. Winds today were 30-35 miles per hour from the southwest.
The fire resulted in 20 acres burned. Structural damage was prevented in all but one outbuilding. According to Incident Commander and Interior Fire Department Chief, Cliff McClure "Lack of rain or snow has pushed the fire danger level to very high, and fire can spread rapidly in grasses from just a spark."
Fire Managers express concern with lighting fires during periods of high fire danger. When the fire danger is very high, fires can spread rapidly and increase quickly in intensity. Fires burning in light fuels may quickly develop high intensity characteristics such as long-distance spotting and fire whirlwinds when they burn into heavier fuels. This time of year, many fires are human-caused.
For more information see www.nps.gov/badl or follow us on Twitter @BadlandsEdu, and @Badlands_Ranger.
Did You Know?
The Ben Reifel Visitor Center was named after Ben Reifel, the first congressman from the Sioux Nation, who served 5 terms. Afterwards, he served as consultant and Special Assistant for Indian Programs to the Director of the National Park Service. Badlands was his favorite national park.