As promised, here is the last batch of photos from the Dudley Fire that damaged a structure and burned two acres in Buffalo Gap, about 24 miles south of Rapid City, South Dakota.
In addition to state and federal engines, there was a sizable contingent of resources from volunteer fire departments that helped fight the fire. And there were quite a few local residents that showed up carrying shovels. The woman in these photos found a McCleod tool somewhere and wanted to pitch in and help the firefighters, but after a wind shift she found the fire spreading toward her and had to make a strategic withdrawal. The local residents helped pull hose, put in a bit of scratch line, and operated a tractor and a dozer to move the large burning cottonwood trees after they were felled, and helped spread the burning hay so it could be mopped up.
If you’re not familiar with the smart phone app Periscope, it makes it possible to broadcast to the internet a live video from your phone. The app is free to download and does not cost anything to stream the video. I tried it for the first time today from the Dudley Fire in Buffalo Gap, South Dakota.
The image above is a screen grab from the video as a faller from the U.S. Forest Service was cutting down a large cottonwood tree adjacent to a mobile home. You can view the video HERE, but I believe it goes away after 24 hours, so you’ll need to watch it before 10 a.m. MST on Saturday March 5, 2016.
It is interesting that a couple of seconds before the tree actually started to fall, the dozer, with the blade about 10 feet away, began moving toward the tree and raising the blade — as if he was going to catch it if it started to fall backwards toward the mobile home.
That was the second video I broadcast. I did the first one a few minutes before; it was a little rough, as I held my still camera in one hand and filmed with the phone in the other. Then at the end I had to figure out how to stop it, which took a while.
After you install Periscope on your phone you can follow us by searching for “wildfiretoday”. Optionally, you can be notified when someone you’re following is broadcasting live.
This app has a lot of potential for broadcasting live from a fire scene, a briefing, or a news conference.
(UPDATED at 1:20 p.m. MST March 4, 2016 with four more photos.)
Here are more photos from the Dudley Fire yesterday in Buffalo Gap, South Dakota taken by Bill Gabbert.
Two large cottonwood trees had fire established in the upper reaches of the branches and were threatening to fall.
This mobile home was seriously damaged and the asthmatic older woman who lived there may not be able to occupy it again. Rod Converse left this information in a comment on the original thread about the fire:
Please consider joining us in helping Millie Sanford get back on her feet after this fire. 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.
PO Box 14, Buffalo Gap, SD 57722
The glass windows in the photo above softened and warped but remained in place. The cloudy areas on the panes are bowed out like a wave in the ocean.
You can watch the tall tree nearest the camera being cut down in the live video we broadcast from Periscope. It will go away after 24 hours, so you’ll need to watch it before 10 a.m. MST on Saturday March 5, 2016. More about our experiment with Periscope here.
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.