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.
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.