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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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.