Aerial photos of the prescribed fire at Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore prescribed fire April 30 2020
Mount Rushmore prescribed fire April 29, 2020. Photo by Matt Danilchick.

Yesterday a pilot from Colorado was flying to Rapid City and grabbed some photos of the prescribed fire at Mount Rushmore.

“Just shot with my iPhone so sorry for the quality,” said Matt Danilchick.  “I didn’t expect to see it!”

Actually, the quality was very good, Matt. Thanks! They were taken at about 4:11 p.m. April 29, 2020. Judging from the photos and the time of day, the ignition was probably about 80 to 90 percent complete.

Mount Rushmore prescribed fire April 30 2020
Mount Rushmore prescribed fire April 29, 2020. Photo by Matt Danilchick.
Mount Rushmore prescribed fire April 30 2020
Mount Rushmore prescribed fire April 29, 2020. Photo by Matt Danilchick.

Prescribed can be an excellent method for restoring fire as a natural component of an ecosystem, and reducing hazardous fuels. As far as we can determine, this was the first ever broadcast prescribed fire at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. One worker at the prescribed fire told a photographer that it was conducted to prepare for the July 3 fireworks. On at least two occasions, May 7, 2019 and December 18, 2019, President Trump said fireworks were going to be restored at Mount Rushmore long before the Environmental Assessment process was finished.

Professional photographer Paul Horsted also shot photos of the prescribed fire, but from the ground.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

3 thoughts on “Aerial photos of the prescribed fire at Mount Rushmore”

    1. “Reduces the danger…”; nothing would ever remove the danger of fireworks starting a fire from a overly dense ponderosa pine forest in the Black Hills in the middle of July except for not using the f’ing things in the first place.

  1. KOTA News reported on their noon broadcast today (4/30/20) that an official at Mt. Rushmore said the prescribed burn has been planned for years and was not related to the fireworks display this summer.

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