South Dakota: Myrtle fire 75% contained

Myrtle fire
Myrtle fire
Myrtle fire, near Hwy. 385 and Beaver Creek Road, July 23, 2012. Photo by Bill Gabbert

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.

Myrtle fire
“A Careless Match Destroys”. A sign within the Myrtle fire, July 23, 2012. Photo by Bill Gabbert

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.

Myrtle fire
Sunset over the Myrtle fire, looking across Wind Cave National Park, July 23, 2012. Photo by Bill Gabbert

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+

4 thoughts on “South Dakota: Myrtle fire 75% contained”

  1. Thanks so much for these updates, pictures, and discussions! As someone from the previously evacuated areas just south of Wind Cave N.P., we appreciate the information on the Myrtle Fire!!

  2. Thank you so much for all of your updates! We were evacuated from our home on Argyle Rd. and this website was what kept us in the loop of what was going on. Thanks!!


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