Interagency cooperation a major factor in Agate Bed Fire response

FAIRBURN, S.D. — What began as a red flag fire danger warning day quickly escalated to a major wild grassland fire.

“Right now, we’re calling it about 2,000 acres. Again, we haven’t been able to get it on a map yet, just because of the rough terrain and poor access, but that’s our estimate for now.  For the same reason, we’re only calling it about 10 percent contained. But that numbers gonna go up by the end of shift,” said Brian Daunt, Agate Bed Fire Incident Commander.

While there were ample resources, it was a slow ride as the fire area was comprised of very rough terrain, and was difficult to access.

Daunt said, “The fire was running pretty good when the initial resources got on scene. Throughout the night, the conditions ameliorated, we were able to make some very good progress last night, and so far this morning, the fire is staying where we left it. Where the night shift left it.”

As the fire was fast moving, crews have been working continuous shifts in an attempt to keep the fire contained.

“So typically what we do, is run a day shift and a night shift. So, either we have the trucks stay on the fire and we just swap out crews, or we release night shift resources and bring in a different resource for the day shift,” Daunt said.

Responders from Custer and Pennington counties, as well as Buffalo Gap and Nebraska National Grassland, have all been involved and will continue until conditions are safe.

Daunt adds, “The interagency cooperation on something like this is just outstanding. And it doesn’t happen all other places, it’s something that we work on very hard with our state partners, our other federal partners, and with our local VFD’s, and we’re very thankful for those good working relationships.”

The source of the fire has not yet been determined, but responders believe it was human caused.


Categories: Local News, South Dakota News