South Dakota: Battle Fire east of Hot Springs 

Battle Fire

Above: Battle Fire at 9:40 a.m. MDT October 15, 2016. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

(UPDATED at 2:56 p.m. MDT October 15, 2016)

In the above photo we took Saturday morning the Battle Fire east of Hot Springs, South Dakota looks more benign than it did Friday night. Authorities are reporting it has burned 22 acres.

Fall River County Emergency Manager Frank Maynard said the fire was contained at 2 a.m. Saturday. It will continue to produce smoke for several days as the interior fuels smoulder.


(UPDATED at 12:12 a.m. MDT October 15, 2016)

The Battle Fire east of Hot Springs, South Dakota continues to spread. At about 11:30 p.m. the size was estimated at 10 acres, but since then has grown slowly to the south and southeast. Firefighters are using a South Dakota state dozer to construct fireline in addition to the crews from a number of engines. At midnight it was surprisingly warm and dry for mid-October. The temperature at the fire was 72 and the relative humidity was 26 percent.


(UPDATED at 10:17 p.m. MDT October 14, 2016)

At about 8 PM on Friday the Battle Fire broke out east of Hot Springs, South Dakota at the base of Battle Mountain. Firefighters were worried about it spreading to the top of Battle Mountain and endangering electronic sites. By about 9:25 p.m. after it had burned 5 acres the spread had been slowed. But the wind continued to cause spot fires out ahead of the main fire, challenging firefighters.

The fire started under a nearly full moon on the boundary of the Veterans Administration Hospital property east of the facility. Their fire department notified the Hot Springs FD and requested assistance.

A dozer was ordered to help improve a poorly maintained road in order to provide better access for fire engines.

The weather forecast for the fire area predicts 7 mph winds out of the northwest Friday night, slowing to 3 mph at 6 a.m. The maximum relative humidity will be 61 percent at 6 a.m.

For Saturday the National Weather Service expects 73 degrees, 24 percent relative humidity, and 10 to 12 mph west winds gusting to 16 after noon. These conditions could be conducive to continued fire spread.

Battle Fire
Battle Fire at 8:41 p.m. MDT October 14, 2016. 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+

5 thoughts on “South Dakota: Battle Fire east of Hot Springs ”

    1. I currently live on BHHCS prope.rty as a resident in treatment. I walked over to the Fire Dept., and my concern is the wind. I have seen many fire personnel and I am curious if they have the resources(water) to help contain the fire.

    2. Just heard from a watcher; the fire is going east and north, towards the towers. Four fire depts, incl the VA one, on it @ 9:54pm

  1. I see three thin lines of fire coming down the hill toward north end of town. I assume (hope) those are back-burns, because wind is blowing away from town right now. Smoke appears to still be steady toward northeast.

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