In the last two years, the media has done extensive coverage on the devastating effect wildfires are having on California. While the Golden State has it the worst, many other western states have been seeing more wildfire activity as of late. Last month, Hot Springs experienced the Vineyard Fire, which spread to about 560 acres and threatened hundreds of residents living in the area.
Unfortunately, recent reports suggest that the fires will continue to become larger and destroy more property. South Dakota ranchers need to become more aware of the issue so they can take as many precautions as they can when protecting their property.
The threat continues to build
A recent article by the Washington Post gathered multiple sources to determine why wildfires are becoming more threatening than ever. A major factor is climate change causing forests to increase in temperatures as the planet gets hotter and drier, but there are other causes such as moisture redirection from the climate and continuously accumulating dry fuel.
The size of the standard wildfire itself has also been getting larger, as what was 40 to acres of land burned in the 1980s and 1990s is now on average more than 100 acres. The larger fires also result in larger quantities of smoke affecting the air quality and endangering thousands of elderly residents that are in distant areas of the fire.
Preparing for the worst
As wildfire is becoming a bigger risk to South Dakota farmlands and forests, ranchers and other property owners should be creating plans to ensure they will not lose a significant amount of their assets and finances should one occur. Ranchers and farmers must create evacuation plans for their animals, invest in structures that could prevent fires from reaching certain areas and carefully monitor their property as they move their family members and valuable possessions to a safe location.
While many wildfires ignite from natural causes, South Dakota's Department of Agriculture notes that nearly nine out of ten wildfires are caused by other people. If someone is responsible for burning down thousands of dollars of your property, you should consider filing a wildland fire claim to recover from the damages.