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Northern Hills briefs

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Fire department rescues cat from tree

Firefighters rescuing a cat in a tree may sound like something out of a storybook, but the Spearfish Fire Department needed to do just that on Monday.

Lily, the cat in question, had climbed approximately 40 feet up a tree in the forest off of McGuigan Road. After the cat spent nearly two days up in the tree, with the hot temperatures, her owner called the Spearfish Fire Department for help in rescuing Lily.

“We were all exclaiming that we finally had a cat in a tree call, but it was more complicated than what we initially thought,” Fire Chief Travis Ladson said, describing that the tree was located down a steep, 60-foot incline from the owner’s residence, requiring firefighters to hike in, brush out the area with chainsaws, and use a large, three-section extension ladder off of the department’s ladder truck to reach the cat.

“We could hear her (Lily) yowling in distress as we were preparing to safely get her down from the tree,” Ladson said. “She was happy to be back on the ground and reunited with her owner, that’s for sure, and we were happy to be part of bringing her home.”

Ladson added the rescue provided hands-on experience using various equipment the firefighters utilize during calls for service to the community.

Nine firefighters assisted with the rescue, including resources from the U.S. Forest Service.

Closures impact Belle Fourche Reservoir

The Bureau of Reclamation will perform road maintenance around Belle Fourche Reservoir from mid-August through mid-September on Bird Island View Road, CCC Point Road and roads in Fruitdale and Gardens Point. Recreation areas will also be closed to the public during road construction and maintenance activities.

“Recreation activity has increased substantially at Belle Fourche Reservoir over the past few years, prompting Reclamation to make needed improvements for the public,” said Dakotas Area Office Manager Joe Hall. “Equipment will be used to ditch and crown the road, install culverts, and add gravel.”

The 2020 Belle Fourche Reservoir Resource Management Plan laid out improvements and changes to be implemented at the reservoir. During the Reservoir Resource Management Plan public involvement process, the public identified the need for road improvements, improved camping and the addition of vault toilets.

“The Bird Island View area on the east side of the Reservoir has experienced an increase in camping and other recreational activity, however the road system is in need of maintenance to allow safe public access and to allow for placement of a new vault toilet in the area,” Hall said.

For more information, contact Jay Leasure at 605-519-5504.

— Journal staff

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