SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - U.S. Sen. John Thune has introduced a bill that would require collaboration between federal and local officials before a prescribed burn on federal lands when fire danger is high.
A prescribed burn recently grew out of control and scorched 10 square miles at Wind Cave National Park. In April 2013, a controlled fire on the Grand River National Grasslands ended up burning nearly 22 square miles along the South Dakota-North Dakota border.
Thune says the fires show “a complete disregard for imminent fire danger” on the part of the federal government.
Wind Cave Chief Interpreter Tom Farrell has said the park has performed thousands of prescribed burns and successfully burned millions of acres to prevent more catastrophic wildfires. He also has said weather conditions were appropriate for a prescribed burn.
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