RAPID CITY, SD (KELO) – It was another very windy day in South Dakota, raising fire concerns. In fact, the Rapid City Fire Department is on track for another busy year. With an already high call volume, firefighters are constantly on the move.
All this month, Rapid City crews have consistently responded to fire calls, including this one at a cabinet business near Black Hawk last week.
“Just recently there have been a number of structural fires. There was one night where we actually had 5 different fires reported. There were high winds that night, it was dry, we also had forest fires as well as a few structural fires. Even last night there was a lit trash can on fire and an attic fire the night before,” said Brian Povandra, fire operations division manager.
So far this year, the Rapid City Fire Department has responded to approximately 6,000 calls, both fire-related and medical.
2021 was a record year for service calls.
“Things are looking a lot like 2021 in terms of call volume so far, so it looks like we’ll be really, really close to races in 2021 or beat that number,” Chief Povandra said.
High call volume and dry weather are concerns for the upcoming fire season.
“What this means for us is that there is a much greater risk of larger and more numerous fires starting,” said Captain Guy Bennett, RCFD.
However, there are ways everyone can help, including being aware of fire.
Be sure to burn debris safely, manage your campfire, don’t drive through tall grass, and make sure your smoke detectors are working properly and you have an escape plan.
The Rapid City Fire Department hopes to recruit more firefighters to join the team. With the busy year ahead, more staff are needed.