Auburn Fire burns more than 900 acres north of Rapid City, SD

Evacuations were still in effect Tuesday morning

5:27 p.m. MDT Oct. 5, 2021

Map Auburn Fire 10-5-2021
Map produced by a multi-mission aircraft Tuesday morning, Oct. 5; 964 acres.

Tuesday morning an aircraft mapped the Auburn Fire north of Rapid City and determined it had burned 964 acres.

Firefighters have conducted one or two firing operations on Tuesday to help secure the firelines. They are being assisted by a Type 1 helicopter which is dropping water.

Another fire broke out Tuesday in Southwest South Dakota 14 miles east of Hermosa and burned 650 acres on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Three single engine air tankers helped slow the spread.


10:34 a.m. MDT Oct. 5, 2021

Auburn Fire map Rapid City South Dakota
The red dots on the map represent heat detected by satellites on the Auburn Fire as late as 2:54 a.m. MDT Oct. 5, 2021. Grass that burned and then cooled between overflights does not show up.

The Auburn Fire burned an estimated 500 to 750 acres north of Rapid City, South Dakota Monday. Overnight firefighters stopped the spread and completed a line around the blaze with the help of a tactical firing operation. Much of the fire burned through timber which will be smoking for days and will require extensive mop up.

It was reported at 1:49 p.m. Monday west of Auburn Drive between Haines and Deadwood Avenues north of Interstate 90. It started in Pennington County and spread north into Meade County.

Auburn Fire - Rapid City
Auburn Fire – photo by Rapid City FD, Oct. 4, 2021.

Evacuations ordered Monday were still in effect Tuesday morning. The areas affected theoretically could be seen on a map. However, our experience was that the map was not visible on a Chrome browser, but it did work on Firefox and Safari.

There have been no reports of any structures destroyed.

Resources on the fire Monday included one large air tanker, a large type 1 helicopter, two single engine air tankers, dozers, and federal, state, and local firefighters.

The Rapid City air tanker base at the airport was activated to reload the air tankers.

Auburn Fire - Rapid City
Auburn Fire, Oct. 4, 2021, looking north  from Mt. Rushmore Road/US 16. Photo by Pennington County Sheriffs Office.

Near critical fire weather conditions are expected through Wednesday. The forecast calls for temperatures to be in the upper 80s or lower 90s with relative humidity falling into the 7 to 20 percent range. Winds are expected to be out of the south at 10-20 mph.

The aircraft used Monday were still available Tuesday morning if needed.

Auburn Fire - Rapid City
Dozer on the Auburn Fire, Oct. 4, 2021. Photo courtesy of Great Plains Fire Information.
Auburn Fire - Rapid City
Auburn Fire – photo by Rapid City FD, Oct. 4, 2021.
Auburn Fire - Rapid City
Auburn Fire – photo by Rapid City FD, Tuesday morning Oct. 5, 2021.

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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.

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