December 17 Road Closure Near Visitor Center
December 17: Badlands Loop Road (Highway 240) will be temporarily closed at Cedar Pass for emergency repair work. The closure is expected to be in place for two to three weeks, weather dependent. An alternate route to access Interstate 90 will be posted. More »
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?
Four species of wildlife have been reintroduced into the Badlands since its establishment as a National Monument in 1939. The black-footed ferret, bighorn sheep, bison, and swift fox, once exterminated from the area's mixed grass prairie, are again thriving in their native habitat.