Dudley Fire burns close to structures in Buffalo Gap, SD

Steven Esser, Dudley wildfire

Above: Steven Esser applies water on the Dudley Fire in Buffalo Gap, South Dakota, March 3, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

A fire that started in Buffalo Gap burned very close to structures Thursday afternoon in the small town 24 miles south of Rapid City, South Dakota. A response by volunteer fire departments, South Dakota state engines, and personnel from the U.S. Forest Service stopped the fire at two acres. A large pile of old hay bales ignited and will require a significant effort by firefighters to completely suppress.

What started the fire is unknown. A cause and origin investigator was requested by the Incident Commander, but since he would not have arrived until after dark he will be on scene first thing Friday morning.

In addition to the photos you see here, we will post more of the fire on Friday and Saturday. All photos are by Bill Gabbert and are protected by copyright.

(UPDATE March 4, 2016: we posted more photos from the fire here.)

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More information:
More photos of the Dudley Fire.
Links to and information about the live video we streamed from the Dudley Fire.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

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.

4 thoughts on “Dudley Fire burns close to structures in Buffalo Gap, SD”

    1. Please consider joining us in helping Millie Sanford get back on her feet after this fire destroyed her home. Milie is a caring and benevolent lady that has spent her life helping others in need. She did not have insurance, has no place to live and has little resources. If you feel led to help, her address is below.

      Thank you for

      PO Box 14, Buffalo Gap, SD 57722

      1. The report we received about the fire Thursday night said to their knowledge no structures burned. After reading Rod’s comment above we called dispatch Friday and were told that after checking with the Incident Commander this morning, they found that there was significant damage to a mobile home and it is “possibly uninhabitable”.

        We went back to the fire site just before noon on Friday and found that there was considerable damage to the exterior of the mobile home on two sides. The vinyl siding was mostly melted away and some of the glass in the windows partially melted. It was still in place but was substantially warped. A fire official on scene told us that the interior of the structure did not burn in spite of the extreme heat on the windows.

        We contacted Rod Converse who left the comment above and he told us:

        This is Millie’s only home and it was just repaired last year by Habitat for Humanity. She called us last night and was in her car outside her home. I doubt if it is usable as she is an asthmatic and struggles with smoke.

        Our condolences to Ms. Sanford for her loss.

        1. Seeing the extent of the fire I was not sure what the damage would be. Returned today to view my home for the first time. The firefighters did an incredible job foaming. I was fortunate to find only exterior damage. Though smelling strongly of smoke there is no interior damage.


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