With archery deer, firearms antelope and the waterfowl seasons upon us, the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department is urging sportsmen to be aware of the extreme fire dangers that exist across the entire state.

“Hunters in the field can help be an extra set of eyes this time of year to help report fires,” said  Division of Wildlife  Assistant Director Emmett Keyser.  “GFP is taking some proactive steps to help ease landowner concerns and over the past couple of weeks we’ve worked with South Dakota Wildland Fire to coordinate placement of a single engine air tanker (SEATs) aircraft in Lemmon, SD this coming weekend.”

“We’re also working to contract with a couple of volunteer fire departments who will be out conducting patrols during the antelope season,  and we’re pleased that SD Wildand Fire has volunteered to dispatch two of their own fire units as well,” said Keyser.

Keyser advised that a GFP aircraft will also conduct patrols over the weekend in those counties along the Missouri River.

Keyser asks that sportsmen take a few simple precautions so they are prepared.  He urges them to:

Equip their vehicles with a large fire extinguisher, shovel and water in case they may need to extinguish a fire.

Extinguish cigarettes with water or dirt or use an ashtray inside their vehicle.

Walk rather than drive and limit all vehicle travel to designated roads and trails.

Never park a vehicle over dry vegetation.

“By sticking to these rules and using extra caution, hunters can safely enjoy their time in the field and help ease landowner concerns,” Keyser said.

Image courtesy South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks

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