Bitter Creek Fire south of Hot Springs, SD

Originally published at 2:38 p.m. MT, September 1, 2015  A fire started Monday afternoon south of Hot Springs, South Dakota off Highway 71 southeast of the intersection of Maitland and Ash Creek Roads. As of 2:30 p.m. MT firefighters have a handle on approximately one half of the perimeter.

(UPDATED at 3 p.m. MT, September 1, 2015)

The photo below, from a different angle, was shot at about 3 PM.   We will update this later with more photos and information.

(UPDATED at 7:25 p.m. MT, September 1, 2015)

The firefighters from Cascade, Hot Springs, and South Dakota State stopped the spread at about 87 acres and named it the Bitter Creek Fire. A load of retardant from a Dromader Single Engine Air Tanker based in Hot Springs enabled the firefighters on the ground to tie in the last piece of open fireline. Tanker 455 put one 550-gallon load on the fire, split into two drops.

The initial text in this article and the first two photos were published from my iPhone at the fire scene. After returning from the fire, the photos below (from two real cameras) were uploaded.

A couple of hours after he dropped retardant on the fire, we caught up with the pilot, Jim Fournier, and interviewed him on video — you can see it at Fire Aviation.

All photos are by Bill Gabbert.

Overview of the Bitter Creek Fire.
Bitter Creek Fire
The right flank of the Bitter Creek Fire.
Bitter Creek Fire
Tanker 455 orbits, sizing up the fire.
Tanker 455
Tanker 455 descending to make a drop.
Tanker 455
Tanker 455 completing a drop.
Bitter Creek Fire
A rural South Dakota version of a Type 1 Water Tender.