Thanks to the great efforts by firefighters, and favorable weather, the incident management team is calling the Myrtle fire in the Black Hills of South Dakota 75 percent contained. The size has not changed in the last few days, and remains at 10,080 acres. Monday evening I visited the fire and saw no major fire activity, only scattered smokes.
Two weather stations near the fire measured 0.28″ and 0.30″ of rain between 9 and 11 p.m. on Monday, but it was a mixed blessing, in that it came with a great deal of lightning, as you can see in these photos.
Investigators determined that the likely cause of the fire was a U.S. Forest Service road grader that was performing road maintenance. The belief is that the metal blade fractured a rock on the road surface igniting the grassy fuels on the roadside.
All evacuations and road closures have been lifted, and electrical power as been restored to primary residences in the area. Wind Cave National Park plans to reopen today.
A map of the fire current as of Monday night can be found HERE. While it came very close, the fire still has not burned anything within Wind Cave National Park.