These counties of the northern and central Great Plains are distinguished by their rural, agricultural economies, low human populations, low area burned and few ignitions. While the short grass prairie that dominated much of this region burned frequently in prior centuries due in large part to human ignitions, wildfire is now relatively uncommon, and prescribed fire is limited to local managed areas.

Example of a Typical County — McPherson County, South Dakota: This north-central South Dakota county is highly rural and includes the town of Eureka.

National Priorities

Vegetation and Fuels Very Low
Homes, Communities and Values at Risk Very Low
Human-Caused Ignitions Very Low
Effective and Efficient Response:
There is low risk of large wildfires.

Policy Options and Opportunities

Managing Fuels Across the Landscape
Some of these counties have a history of prescribed fire and could expand or maintain use of this fuel management option.

Managing Ignitions
Human caused ignitions are not as great here as in other parts of the country, but may deserve attention if a local situation dictates.

Home and Community Actions
Local discretion should be used to determine the importance of home and community actions.

Response to Wildfires
Response organizations continue to protect structures, treat fuels and target ignitions as local conditions apply.

Download PDF