- Associated Press - Saturday, December 2, 2017

DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) - A western city near South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest is among eight communities chosen for a national wildfire risk reduction program next year.

The Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire program will help Deadwood create local planning measures to reduce the impact of wildfires, the Black Hills Pioneer reported. Across the U.S., wildfires are burning longer and causing more damage.

The program will create a team of community consultants, including land use planners, foresters and risk mapping experts.

“This is a great opportunity for the city of Deadwood, and this selection comes at a great time, as we are in the process of updating the city’s comprehensive plan,” said Mayor Chuck Turbiville. He said there’s still evidence of the Grizzly Gulch Fire that nearly destroyed Deadwood about 15 years ago.

“We believe that Deadwood is in an excellent position to benefit from CPAW due to the community’s wildfire risk, anticipated planning updates, and strong leadership support for this opportunity,” said Molly Mowery, president of Wildfire Planning International, one of the program’s founders.

City Planning and Zoning Administrator Bob Nelson Jr. said the program’s services are provided at no cost, but the value is between $30,000 and $40,000.

Nelson said the program will likely take a year to complete. Nelson will attend training to kick off the program in Boulder, Colorado, in January.


Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, http://www.bhpioneer.com

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