Visitor Center Open / Road Construction
Park roads and parking lots are under construction. Expect occasional 10 - 15 minute road construction delays along Hwy 240 Loop Road. There is limited parking at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. Please follow the signs to park in designate areas.
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 former Pig Dig was discovered in June 1993 when two visitors from Iowa discovered a large backbone protruding from the ground near the Conata Picnic Area. Originally thought to be a 4-day excavation, field work continued for over a decade, yielding more than 10,000 fossilized bones for study.