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PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION Residents are urged to take all precautions relating to fires. Pine Ridge Reservation is still under the State of Emergency Declaration on Drought that was issued by President Yellow Bird Steele in July, as well as the Burn Ban issued in March.
Air Travel Restrictions for Private Planes Over the
Pine Ridge Reservation have been Lifted
According to Harold Compton, BIA Deputy Superintendent Trust Services, for the Pine Ridge Agency, the first sign of wildlife discovered by the BIA Pine Ridge Fire Management Team at the scene of Thursday's fire along the Gooseneck Road was a rattlesnake. Hence the name
Rattlesnake Fire was dubbed as the official name of the fire that burned 175 acres of land in the Porcupine District on the Reservation.
The Rattlesnake Fire was 100 percent contained by Thursday evening. Monitoring activities continued into Friday. The fire scorched one trailer, damaged two outbuildings and threatened six to seven structures.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe has had a fire ban in place since March 14,. The Public Service Announcement stated::
Due to the high to extreme fire danger and abnormally dry conditions that presently exist on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and surrounding area, the Pine Ridge Agency and the Oglala Sioux Tribe are implementing a
Ban on Open Burning for the entire Pine Ridge Reservation. This ban will be effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice. Residents are required to adhere to the following restrictions:
In the event of a fire on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the BIA Fire Marshall and/or the Alcohol, Tobacco & Fire Investigator is called in to investigate the cause of the fire. If anyone is found to have caused a fire, the consequences in dealing the fire incident is severe. The Oglala Sioux Tribe Criminal Offenses Code addresses these consequences in the following sections:
Chapter One - Crimes Against Property, § 101. Arson in the First Degree; § 102. Arson in the Second Degree; §103. Arson in the Third Degree; and § 104. Criminal Mischief.
Those individuals found to be guilty either by knowingly, willfully, carelessly, recklessly or negligently causing a fire or explosion that damages persons or property can either be punished with a fine and/or imprisonment. Also, please note that you can also be charged if after starting any fire, even though the fire is started safely for a lawful purpose, fail to either take reasonable measures to put out or control the fire or if you fail to give prompt alarm.
Tribal President John Yellow Bird Steele was in Bismarck, North Dakota Thursday attending the Great Plains Tribal Health Board meeting and received a briefing via telephone about the Rattlesnake Fire. After hearing of the fire, he stated:
“The Tribe has a fire ban in place since this spring. I am urging our tribal membership and visitors on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to please abide by our Burn Ban. Fires are very destructive and I do not want another fire on the reservation threatening our people and homelands.”
“Please take great care to protect and preserve what little grasslands that we have on the reservation. We are in a serious drought and right now, parts of our reservation are now in a D4 drought classification which means that the conditions here are considered to be EXTREME and that means desert-like conditions. Any little spark can set off a fire.”
The restriction placed on air space travel for private planes in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation area has been concluded; as the fires have now been 100 percent contained.
posted September 9, 2012 9:59 am edt