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As Drought Continues, Wildfire Expert Says Summer Fun Comes With Risks

South Dakota Wildland Fire Division
Aerial views of the spring 2021 Schroeder Fire near Rapid City.

The state fire meteorologist wants people to be careful with fireworks this Fourth of July.   

Darren Clabo says drought conditions could turn a spark into a wildfire. 

“It looks like we’re entering back into a dry pattern for the following 14 days. And that’s going all the way into the Fourth of July. And so, there’s definitely some concern as firework sales increase, as more people come to the state for fourth of July activities, that we could have more ignitions on the landscape with the dry weather that we are expecting.” 

The US Drought Monitor says 63 percent of the state is in severe drought. Eleven percent of the state is in the extreme drought category. 

This story comes from a recent interview on SDPB's weekday radio program, "In the Moment." Listen to the full interview below.