Hotter temps today makes firefighting more difficult

RAPID CITY, S.D.(KOTA)- Just as the summer is winding down, the heat is ramping up, with temperatures expected to approach triple digits in the Rapid City area through today.

Tessa Jaeger, public information officer for the Rapid City Fire Department, said the difference between firefighting on an eighty degree day and a ninety-nine degree day is profound.

Jaeger said this fire season has been arduous on a shorthanded RCFD, with 48 hour long shifts becoming common.

A class of 18 new firefighters, four of whom were previously employed with RCFD as EMS exclusively, have joined RCFD, and Jaeger said their contributions will be a difference maker.

National Weather Service officials have listed the Badlands, Butte County, Custer County, the eastern and northern Foothills, Fall River County, Pine Ridge, the Southern Black Hills, and the West Central Plains under a fire watch today.