Norbeck prescribed fire — three months later

With the temperature approaching 70 degrees Tuesday afternoon I could not resist the urge to blow some cobwebs off my motorcycle. I cruised into Wind Cave National Park and took some photos with portions of the Norbeck Prescribed Fire in the background. The first and third photos were taken last fall on October 20 and 21, while the second and fourth were shot today, January 27, 2015.

The first and second, and the third and fourth photos show approximately the same areas.

Norbeck prescribed fire

Norbeck Prescribed Fire, October 21, 2014, across the highway from the lookout tower in Wind Cave National Park. This location is similar to the one in the photo below.

Norbeck prescribed fire

Site of the Norbeck Prescribed Fire, January 27, 2015, across the highway from the lookout tower in Wind Cave National Park. This location is similar to the one in the photo above.

Norbeck prescribed fire

Norbeck Prescribed Fire, October 20, 2014, near the boundary between Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park. This location is similar to the one in the photo below.

Bike and burned hill near St Pk bdy

Site of the Norbeck Prescribed Fire, January 27, 2015 near the boundary between Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park. This location is similar to the one in the photo above.

Other articles on Wildfire Today tagged Norbeck Prescribed Fire.

All photos were taken by Bill Gabbert.

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A Christmas Eve(ning) in Wind Cave National Park.

elk  in Wind Cave National Park

These photos were shot over a 61-minute period in Wind Cave National Park this Christmas Eve(ning). The elk is a 6×6.

coyote  in Wind Cave National Park

I have heard of wolves doing what I saw this coyote doing. I think he was hunting mice or some other small creature. The nearest prairie dog town was about 400 feet away. He would be very still for a while, then would suddenly leap a foot or two up in the air, and forward, then come down with his nose right at the ground.

antelope in Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave deer

bison in Wind Cave National ParkThe animals are, top to bottom:  elk, coyote, pronghorn antelope, white tail deer, and bison.

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Bear Mountain’s 2014 fire season

DC-10 dropping

DC-10 dropping. Screen capture from the 2014 Bear Mountain Hand Crew video.

This is the time of the year when we start seeing videos from wildland firefighters that show the highlights of their fire season. The latest entry is from the Bear Mountain Hand Crew in South Dakota. It has a few examples of excellent photography, including a retardant drop at 7:30 by Tanker 911, a DC-10. You may or may not appreciate the musical sound track in the first two-thirds of the video.

The crew also created a video from their 2013 fire season.

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South Dakota: Wildlife Loop Fire

Wildlife Loop Fire

Wildlife Loop Fire. Photo supplied by Great Plains Fire Information.

Even though some areas in the Black Hills of South Dakota received well over six inches of snow one or two weeks ago, and there are still a few patches left on north-facing slopes, a fire in Custer State Park burned about 300 acres on Saturday in the old fire scar from the Four Mile Fire. (UPDATE, December 1, 2014: the fire was mapped at 250 acres.)

As of 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, only one firefighting unit remained on the fire, since the weather forecast predicted much colder weather and the possibility of snow. Overnight nearby in Hot Springs, the area received half an inch of snow and the temperature got down to 7 degrees. By noon on Sunday it was 21 degrees and partly sunny.

The cause is under investigation. If the fire is mopped up it could be a time consuming effort, with all of the dead and down fuels from the previous fire. Great Plains Fire Information reported that on Sunday the Incident Commander would order resources and mop up “as appropriate”.

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