South Dakota Fire Report 3/30/21
Divide Fire in Perkins County—
UPDATE: 6 p.m. 3/30/21
Highway 20 is now open, but Bixby Road is still closed. They ask that only essential traffic use Highway 20 right now.
UPDATE, 3/30/21, 5 p.m.
According to the Perkins County Sheriff’s office, which has done a great job of posting updates, the Divide fire has flared up again, with strong winds. Resources from surrounding areas are heading that direction.
Highway 20 south of Bison and Bixby Road are closed. The fire is east of Bixby Road and south of Bison, burning southeast.
Report: 9 am
The Divide Fire is estimated to be approximately 80% contained. Crews are continuing to work the fire.
Initial assessment of the Divide Fire is estimating it to have burned approximately 8,000 acres. No homes were lost as a result of the fire, however some outbuildings burned. As of this morning no injuries were reported.
Schroeder Fire —
UPDATE. 3/30/21, 5 p.m.
Air tankers and helicopters have been helping out today. Many residents who were evacuated are returning home. Highway 44 west of Rapid is still closed. Issued a correction that one residence and several outbuildings burned.
9 a.m. 3/30/21 West edge of Rapid City. 1,900 acres. Have ordered air support. Several neighborhoods in west Rapid were evacuated. Reported one home and two pole barns did burn. The fire is human caused and under investigation.
For text message updates, you can opt in by texting GPFire to 85511.
Evacuations: For information on evacuations can be found by visiting: https://www.pennco.org/SchroederfRoadFire
Safety: Many road closures are in place. For closure area updates, please visit: the Pennington County Sherriff’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PennCoSheriff
Dry Creek- Central SD, near Murdo. 9,400 acres – closed the interstate yesterday between Kadoka and Murdo
244 Fire — 7.5 miles ESE of Hill City 75 acres. Started yesterday at 10:30 a.m.
Keystone Fire — 8.3 miles ESE of Hill City. 15 acres. Started yesterday at 9:22 a.m.
75 mpg gusts yesterday. Cool today, but the wind didn’t go down overnight, and they’re expecting 55 mph gusts with 30-40 sustained winds across western SD. Extreme fire danger on the plains.
Tips from people who have been there
– Put together an evacuation plan.
– Keep fuel in the tractors, tires up on the discs or plows or whatever you might need to build a fire line.
– Fill some tanks with water. You never know when the power will get cut and your well will be useless.
– Hook up the trailer, check the tires. Make it easy for someone else to help you evacuate, if necessary.
–Gather up the “must take” items, and put them in a vehicle. Put the keys in the vehicles so if neighbors are helping out, they are ready to go.
– There’s nothing you can’t replace.
– Fire is dangerous and unpredicatable. Try to get some training in fire behavior so you can do what you need to do, safely.
– Thinking about “what would I do” now saves a lot of “I wish I would haves” later.
– Take care, be safe. We love to write stories about people in agriculture, but we prefer them to be alive.
Here are the sources we used for the information, plus individual Facebook posts for the fires that don’t have agencies reporting on them.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News