Our previous updates on the Myrtle fire:
Originally posted at 3:00 p.m. MT, July 21, 2012
The Myrtle Fire, between Pringle and Hot Springs, South Dakota grew substantially on Saturday while being pushed by strong winds coming out of thunderstorms. The approximate size, from the map we constructed, is 11,000 acres. According to the incident management team on Saturday morning the fire is 15 percent contained.
Some areas on the east side of the fire received about 0.3 inches of rain late in the day on Friday, but much of the fire remained dry as thunderstorms passed through the area.
Today there are two large air tankers working the fire, both P2Vs — Tankers 07 and 43. A third, Tanker 48, is expected to arrive later on Saturday.
It was Tanker 43 that had the engine problem just after taking off on Friday, which caused the crew to jettison the load of retardant so they could return and land safely. The engine has been repaired and it is back in service.
A Type 1 Incident Management Team, led by Incident Commander Bill Hahnenberg, assumed command of the fire at 6 a.m. on Saturday. There are currently 249 personnel assigned to the fire and additional resources will be arriving throughout the day.
Some areas are still under evacuation notices. More information about evacuations can be found on InciWeb.
The weather Saturday afternoon will be less severe than Friday, with a high in the fire area of 92, a minimum relative humidity of 31 percent, and winds out of the northwest at 5 to 9 mph. There is a 34 percent chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Sunday’s weather will be about the same.