RAPID CITY, S.D. — “We are in a very tough spot,” says South Dakota State Fire Meteorologist Darren Clabo as he looks ahead to wildland fire potential in July.
Clabo says forecasts are showing high probabilities of conditions warmer and drier than we typically are this time of year.
Fire potential across the Black Hills is rated high (in the central and southern Hills) to very high (in the Northern Hills).
“This is the highest fire potential we’ve seen since 2012, and let’s not forget what July of that year brought,” Clabo wrote in his July Wildfire Potential Outlook on Thursday.
Exceptionally dry conditions across the state, when combined with temperatures two to seven degrees above normal, deplete soil and vegetation moisture and increase the potential severity of a wildland fire.
We were dry going into July of last year. We are WAY drier this year. Don’t be an ignition source. Give our wildland firefighters a break… they are your family, neighbors, and friends. #sdfire pic.twitter.com/9iILc8cIrg
— Darren Clabo (@SDFireWeather) July 1, 2021
On average, June is the wettest month of the year across most of South Dakota. A relatively-dry April, May, and June typically sets-up large fire growth.