15+ new fires in the Black Hills

Draw Fire, Air Crane,
Draw Fire, Air Crane,
Sikorsky Skycrane dropping on the Draw fire south of Argyle Road, northwest of Hot Springs, SD, July 24, 2012. Photo by Bill Gabbert

The 10,000-acre Myrtle Fire is nearing full containment, but firefighters in the Black Hills of South Dakota are not getting a break. With hundreds of lightning strikes almost every day, fires are breaking out by the dozens. Prompt, aggressive initial attack with both ground and air resources is keeping most of the new fires very small, but occasionally one escapes.

Below, from Great Plains Fire Information, is a list of 15 fires that were discovered on Tuesday, July 24, plus the Mossagate fire which was reported on July 21. There are approximately 7 others that started late in the day on Tuesday that didn’t make this version of the list.

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Date: July 24, 2012 / Time: 9:00 p.m.

Fire Crews Respond to New Lightning Ignited Fires in the Black Hills

Rapid City, SD – Thunderstorms rolled over the Black Hills again today and federal, state, and local VFD firefighters responded to another 15 new fires. Most of the new fires were small and were contained at less than ½ an acre. However, because of the hot, dry, and windy conditions, several of the new fires required numerous air tanker retardant drops and the use of helicopters to drop water; allowing firefighters to build fire line to contain the spread of the fires.

Fire resources on the Myrtle Fire, which is nearing containment, assisted with initial attack of several new fires in the southern Black Hills. Five Interagency Hotshot crews, responded to three nearby fires. Aviation resources, including helicopters and air tankers assisted with initial attack on eight new fires.

With fire activity remaining high throughout the region, fire resources are being reassigned to other incidents after they are released from their currently assigned fire.

  • Falls Fire
  • The Falls Fire started between Falls Canyon and Lindsley Canyon, six miles southwest of Hot Springs. The fire threatens powerlines to the northwest and is burning in steep and rugged terrain. No structures are threatened at this time. A Type III Incident Commander has ordered additional crews and engines.
  • Size: 150 acres
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: Unknown
  • Placerville Fire
  • Location: Just north of the Pactola Work Center, in the Mystic Ranger District
  • Size: 0.1 acre
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: 100%
  • Rock Point Fire
  • Location: Two miles north of the Wind Cave National Park, Rankin Ridge lookout
  • Size: 0.1 acre
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: 100%
  • East Pass Fire
  • Location: Two miles north of the Wind Cave National Park, Rankin Ridge lookout
  • Size: 7.75 acres
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: 100%
  • Draw Fire
  • Location: 1/2 mile north of Cottonwood Reservoir
  • Size: 12 acres
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: 100%
  • Honey Badger Fire
  • Location: Three miles west of Spearfish, SD
  • Size: 0.1 acre
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: 100%
  • Mountain Lion Fire
  • Location: Just west of Argyle and 6 miles south of Pringle, SD
  • Size: 0.25 acre
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: 100%
  • Geis Fire
  • Location: Northeast of Bear Lodge 4 miles, on private land
  • Size: 3.5 acres
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: 100%
  • Hedge Hog Fire
  • Location: In the Brownville area, five miles southeast of Lead, SD
  • Size: 0.25 acre
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: 100%
  • Red Hill Fire
  • Location: On private land, 1/2 mile southeast of Bald Hill, next to Custer State Park
  • Size: 0.25 acre
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: 100%
  • Fanny Fire
  • Location: Bureau of Land Management, 2 miles SSW of Sullivan Peak, WY
  • Size: 0.5 acre
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: 100%
  • Kiss Fire
  • Location: Three miles south of the Timon Campground, in the Geranium Park Area
  • Size: 0.38 acre
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: Unknown
  • Burdock Fire
  • Location: Next to the Northern Rail line, 2 miles southeast of Burdock
  • Size: 0.38 acre
  • Cause: under investigation
  • Containment: 100%
  • Ryland Fire
  • Location: Near Vision Peak in the Bear Lodge Mountains
  • Size: 0.1 acre
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: Unknown
  • Pinnacles Fire
  • Location: Near Interstate 90, Exit 120, seven miles southeast of Wall, SD
  • Size: 30 acres
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Containment: Unknown

Mossagate Fire Contained

According to Incident Commander Brian Daunt, the 4,314 acre Mossagate Fire is now 100 percent contained. He repeated his appreciation to the great assistance from the volunteer fire departments and the good interagency work accomplished on the fire. The Mossagate Fire was a lightning caused fire that started on July 21. The fire threatened numerous structures, oil field infrastructure, and burned several miles into the state of Wyoming.

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+