Darren Clabo

Credit Josh Hoffman / Black Hills National Forest

Forecasts show an increased risk of wildfires in western South Dakota in the next few weeks after two of the wettest years in state history.

Darren Clabo is the state’s Fire Meteorologist. He says the past two seasons were very wet with minimal fires.  

South Dakota Fire Meteorologist's Wildfire Concerns

Jun 29, 2020

In The Moment … June 29, 2020 Show 848 Hour 1

A relatively calm 2018 and 2019 has some South Dakotans less aware of the risk of wildfires in the Black Hills and the western part of the state. As we head into a hot July, what's the wildfire outlook? Today we welcome Darren Clabo, Ph.D., to the program. Darren is a research scientist at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and the state's fire meteorologist.  

Wildfire Dangers

Jun 5, 2019
Chynna Lockett

In The Moment ... June 5, 2019 Show 589 Hour 1

It's that time of year when wildfires can become an issue in South Dakota. State Fire Meteorologist Darren Clabo explains how wildfires can vary across the state as well as the forecast trends for temperatures and precipitation over the rest of the summer.

Meteorologist Predicts Less Fire Activity For 2019

Apr 25, 2019
Josh Hoffman / Black Hills National Forest

The state wildfire meteorologist for South Dakota anticipates a slower than average wildfire season this year.

A wetter than average spring and summer are forecast for 2019. But even two weeks of dry weather and above average temperatures could change that during peak fire season months.

Expect a fire season much like last years… or even less.

Statewide, about 5,000 acres caught fire last year. That’s below ten percent of the acreage burned the preceding three years.

Chynna Lockett

In The Moment ... December 20, 2018 Show 484 Hour 1

Each year firefighters prepare themselves for Black Hills wildfires. The Legion Lake fire was in December of last year and the conditions were just right albeit surprising that it was that late in the year. Darren Clabo is the state Wildland Fire Meteorologist and research scientist at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.

Temperatures are expected to reach into the 60s over most of South Dakota today. Wednesday could see highs creeping into the 70s in some spots. Current weather conditions have led to a very high fire danger in the Black Hills area. A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for Wednesday for areas south of I-90 and west of the Missouri River. South Dakota fire meteorologist Darren Clabo joined Dakota Midday and discussed the current fire danger across the state and what March conditions could mean for the summer fire season.

A small Rapid City audience heard from a panel of scientists Monday night after watching a documentary on climate change activism. The film, Disruption, pushes for take-it-to-the-streets protest and drummed up advance interest in the global People’s Climate March that happened September 21st. But scientists tell SDPB’s Victoria Wicks that effective solutions have to be more concrete.