West Virginia Division of Forestry Sends Firefighting Crew to South Dakota

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West Virginia Division of Forestry Sends Firefighting Crew to South Dakota

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A 20-person wild land firefighting crew was activated to assist with fire suppression efforts in the Black Hills National Forest in Custer, South Dakota, on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. Sixteen West Virginia Division of Forestry (WVDOF) staff members and four specially trained volunteer firefighters make up the crew that will serve a 14-day tour of duty.

Walt Jackson, assistant state forester for fire protection, said the team’s duties are tentatively scheduled to involve fire suppression on any new fires that start, but the team, or part of it, could be assigned to an ongoing fire if needed.

"The West Virginia crew will perform initial attack duties to bring new fires under control and keep them from becoming large ones," Jackson said. "We have an excellent crew that has been specially trained for this type of duty and we are proud to send them to South Dakota to represent West Virginia."

 

The Black Hills are in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, and cover an area 125 miles long and 65 miles wide. The terrain varies from rugged rock formations, canyons and gulches to grasslands. The forest consists of 13,000 acres of wilderness, 1,300 miles of streams and 353 miles of trails as well as campgrounds, picnic areas and scenic byways.

The WVDOF has sent wild land firefighting crews to California, Utah and Virginia in recent years.

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Contact: Leslie Fitzwater, Public Information Specialist, 304-957-9342 or 304-541-8102, Leslie.C.Fitzwater@wv.gov