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(S.D.)-South Dakota Wildland Fire Exercise May 2-3

By: Genell Rothleutner Posted at: 04/30/2009 09:28 AM

Lemmon, SD – The 6th annual South Dakota Wildland Fire Exercise will be held at Shadehill Reservoir located on Highway 73 near Lemmon, SD. The exercise will be Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3, 2009. The exercise is being sponsored by SD Wildland Fire Suppression Division, North Dakota State Forestry, Dakota Prairie Grassland (USDA Forest Service), SD Office of Emergency Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. Incident Command Post will be located at the Llewellyn Johns Recreation Area near Shadehill Reservoir on Highway 73. The exercise will start at 8:00 am and run until 5:00 pm (Mountain Standard Time).

There is an estimated 400 firefighters signed up for this exercise. Firefighters are coming from all over South Dakota and North Dakota for this event. During the exercise firefighters will be training on several different techniques of fire fighting.  They are as follows:

1) Structure Protection; this evolution will include, structure triage, site preparation, various suppression/protection techniques.

2) Fire Line Construction; this evolution includes constructing hand line and conducting live burn exercises. It will also include the instruction on different hand tools and firing devices you can use for controlling and using live fire to control major wildfires. The firefighters will use live fire as part of their training during this evolution.

3) Water Handling; this evolution will include different techniques used in progressive and simple hose lays to support fire line construction. This evolution will also include live fire during the training.

4) Gel and Foam Application; this evolution will teach firefighters the different techniques used in applying class a foam, compressed air foam, and fire blocking gel.

5) Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) loading; this evolution will give firefighters training on Single Engine Air Tanker loading operations. Firefighters will be taught how to marshal and load a SEAT for aerial firefighting. The SEAT will then fly to one of the evolutions and drop their load of foam or water.

On Saturday and Sunday Air National Guard Blackhawk Helicopters from South Dakota will be doing bucket work with the firefighters on the ground. The State of South Dakota uses the Air National Guard Blackhawk’s as aerial assets when fighting wildland fires.



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