Air tanker base, and a fire south of Hot Springs, SD

Fire south of Angostura reservior

Today I took take a few photos at a grass fire south of Hot Springs, South Dakota, near Angostura Reservoir. Fire departments from Hot Springs, Oelrichs, and Mennekahta responded and had it knocked down pretty quickly.

Fire south of Angostura reservior
An engine and water tender from Oelrichs FD

Fire south of Angostura reservior

Returning to Hot Springs, I stopped by the air tanker base at Hot Springs Municipal Airport. Hot Springs is one of five Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) bases in or near South Dakota. The others are at Pierre, Buffalo, Lemon, Rapid City (which can also handle large air tankers), and Newcastle, Wyoming. Hot Springs is the main SEAT base and is the only one continuously staffed, and is open June through October.

As far as I know, no air tankers were dispatched to the fire near Angostura Reservoir pictured above. Today Tanker 466 was working out of the base and reloaded numerous times as it worked the Sheep Wagon fire (BKF-622) about 10 miles southeast of Newcastle, WY. The aircraft is operated by Taylor Aviation out of Fort Benton, Montana. South Dakota has one SEAT on exclusive use contract this year but has several others available on Call When Needed (CWN) agreements.

 

Hot Springs Single Engine Air Tanker Base
Tanker 466 at the Hot Springs Single Engine Air Tanker Base
Hot Springs Single Engine Air Tanker Base
Jim Fournier, the pilot of Tanker 466, keeps the engine running while the aircraft is being refueled
Hot Springs Single Engine Air Tanker Base
Loader/driver Leroy Taylor prepares to reload Tanker 466 with retardant
Hot Springs Single Engine Air Tanker Base
SEAT Base Manager Wes Cadotte operates the reloading equipment

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+