The Magpie fire burned about 5,000 acres, but the land is starting to bound back.
“The grasslands out here are a fire adaptive landscape. They are used to having fire, and they have evolved around fire,” said Greg Morel, trail manager for Dakota Prairie Grasslands.
The fire cost the Magpie area thousands of potential acres for grazing and erosion control.
Morel said one of the silver lining’s to the fire is that it took out a lot of the Juniper trees.
“. . . it is something that we would like have less of on the landscape. It does compete with grass for area and water,” said Morel.
Treva Slaughter , public information officer for the U.S. Forest Service, said areas damaged by fire in the Grasslands tend to bounce back with positive effects.
” If you see over here to my left, this is an area that a fire came through roughly early 2000’s, you can see how much grass there is and how few Juniper, ” said Slaughter.
One of the main parts to rehabilitating the Magpie fire area is taking the dozer lines that helped stop the fire and restoring them to their natural state.
“This is one of the dozer lines . . and they will be seeding it this fall, and hope the grass will take to the native seed mix,” said Morel.
Morel also said it is important that people obey the signs and stay out of the 21 mile stretch of dozer lines with their vehicles so regrowth can happen.
“People want to do the right thing, They want to follow the rules .They just didn’t know the rule, so we try to be educational.
The Magpie area is open for camping, but fire restrictions are still in place.