South Dakota: Cascade Fire

(UPDATED at 2:42 p.m. MDT, September 27, 2013)

Firefighters on the Cascade Fire 3 miles south of Hot Springs, South Dakota said it has burned 45 to 50 79.5 acres and they are calling it 80 percent contained. A National Guard Blackhawk helicopter will be assigned to the fire today along with two hand crews, a dozer, and an assortment of engines from federal, state, and volunteer agencies. A Single Engine Air Tanker is also available if needed.

Scroll down to see a slide show of photos from the fire.


(Originally posted at 2:43 p.m. MDT, September 18, 2013; updated at 8:17 p.m. MDT)

The Cascade Fire, 3 miles south of Hot Springs, South Dakota, was reported at about 2 p.m. MDT on Wednesday. By 2:30 it had blackened at least 5 acres and burned over the top of the Seven Sisters ridge. A couple of hours later the size was estimated at 15 to 20 acres and was being fought by state, federal, and local fire departments. At 8 p.m. the incident commander called it 40 percent contained.

The fire appeared to be burning on private land, but that was not confirmed.

A single engine air tanker (SEAT), Tanker 463 from Valentine, Nebraska, made its first drop over the fire at 3:56 p.m. At around 4:15 p.m. the Incident Commander inquired into the availability of a large air tanker. About 20 minutes later the dispatcher told him the closest one was in Idaho. Later I checked a map and that would have been 400 to 650 miles away.

After 5:00 p.m. a National Guard Blackhawk helicopter with a bucket was on scene. A second SEAT also dropped on the fire according to a spokesperson for the fire. The SEATs were from South Dakota and Valentine, Nebraska. They reloaded and refueled at the Hot Springs, SD airport, about five miles east of the fire.

All of these photos were taken by Bill Gabbert, except for the one of the SEAT refueling, which was supplied by South Dakota Wildland Fire.


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About Bill Gabbert

Wildland fire has been a major part of Bill Gabbert’s life for several decades. After growing up in the south, he migrated to southern California where he lived for 20 years, working as a wildland firefighter. Later he took his affinity for firefighting to Indiana and eventually the Black Hills of South Dakota where he was the Fire Management Officer for a group of seven national parks. Today he is the creator and owner of and Sagacity Wildfire Services and serves as an expert witness in wildland fire. If you are interested in wildland fire, welcome… grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up. Google+

2 thoughts on “South Dakota: Cascade Fire

  1. South Dakota must have an immediate need arrangement with the Guard? A Blackhawk in the first two hours, very good. Worked with the South Dakota Guard (Rapid City) here in Ca. a few years ago. Good attitude, good work, reliable equipment. Any plans for a Chinook company in S.D?

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