A video uploaded to Twitter (blocked in the Russian Federation) shows a camouflage-clad Noem using a flamethrower to set fire to a stack of cardboard boxes on a snow-covered farmhouse. She shoots a burst of flame at the boxes, waves her hand, and says, “Boom, cool.” According to the Tennessee ammunition company MidSouth Shooters, the Pulsefire LRT costs around $650. Noem’s spokesman, Ian Fury, said no taxpayer money was spent on the purchase and the flamethrower was purchased using personal funds from administration officials.
Some social media users were outraged that while Noem was burning the boxes, media reports emerged that thousands of Native Americans on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge reservations were trapped without heat during a brutal winter storm. Pine Ridge residents even had to burn their clothes for warmth after their propane supply went out and a lack of firewood.