Fire in Custer State Park is 100% contained, 60 acres burned
UPDATE (2:30 p.m.) — According to Governor Kristi Noem’s office, as of 2:00 p.m. MDT, the fire is 100% contained.
Noem’s office stated that they are extremely grateful for the hard work of the multi-state, multi-agency efforts of the firefighters on the ground.
CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. – A fire in Custer State Park continues to burn Thursday morning as over 100 firefighters work to contain the scene.
According to the Governor Kristi Noem’s office, the Mine Draw Fire is estimated to be 60 acres and 25% contained. The fire is burning between Highway 16A and Center Lake.
A Wednesday night update from the Governor’s office stated the fire had grown to 150 acres. According to the Governor’s office, the previous number was an estimate. “An infrared plane has mapped the area and pegged the fire at 59.9 acres,” said Ian Fury, Gov. Noem’s Communications Director.
“The safety of the public and firefighters will continue to be the primary objective of this incident,” said a release from the Governor’s office. “Additional objectives are to minimize growth of the fire and keep the fire north of Shop Draw Road, east of Highway 87, and West of Mine Draw Road.”
Storms are in the forecast for Thursday afternoon and evening which could help efforts, you can check the latest discussion HERE
Highway 87 North is closed from the junction of Highway 16A and Needles Highway to Playhouse road. Visitors can still access the Needles and Center Lake Campground from American Center Road or Iron Mountain Road.
The Grace Coolidge Walk-in Fishing Area, Center Lake beach and lake access are closed due to bucket usage for helicopters.
Two Type 1 Helicopters and one air attack plane are being used to fight the fire along with 117 firefighters on scene, including members of the Rapid City Fire Department.
— Rapid City Fire Dept (@RapidCityFire) June 24, 2020
According to a spokesperson with the Black Hills National Forest, the fire is not threatening any structures or people in the area as it has grown to the northwest from the point of origin. The fire started Wednesday at approximately 11:15 a.m. and the cause is under investigation.
South Dakota Wildland Fire is the lead agency coordinating the response between multiple state and local resources.
Communication is typically fielded through Great Plains Fire Information – “an interagency cooperative group of public information officers” to provide information about fires in the dispatching zone. That zone encompasses much of South Dakota, and portions of Wyoming and Nebraska.
“If there’s a fire on private land, state land, federal land, generally the information is shared from the Great Plains dispatch site,” said Scott Jacobson, Public Information Officer with the Black Hills National Forest.
Information regarding the fire has been fielded through the Governor’s office.
“In the Great Plains dispatch region what we have is an initial attack fire information phone line. When a fire breaks out, media can call the fire information number and we man that during the summer 24/7, ” said Jacobson. “We generally have info from dispatch that will let us know where the fires at, how big the fire is, resources responding, and a general size of the fire, and initial site of where the fire is.”
Fires are categorized by size as a Type one through five, with type one being the smallest and type five being the largest. Public Information Officers from a fire agency are requested to the fire once it reaches a type three categorization.
According to the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center (RMACC), type two interagency crew is on scene.
New fire in SD; “Mine Draw” is in Custer State Park…resources responding are 5 eng; a LAT, AA, 2 heli, 2 SEATS, 1 Hotshot cr, a T-2IA cr and misc personnel
— RMACC (@RMACCinfo) June 24, 2020