Winds And Warm Weather Push Cold Fire

Apr 3, 2016

The Cold Fire burning in the Southern Black Hills on April 3rd, 2016. Photo by Jerry Krueger, Black Hills National Forest courtesy of Great Plains Fire Information.
Credit Jerry Krueger / Black Hills National Forest

A wildfire burning in the Southern Black Hills has now consumed about 1,900 acres.

The Cold Fire was reported on Saturday afternoon about four miles east of the town of Pringle near Highway 87.   

 High winds, low humidity and warmer than average weather fanned the flames and forced a rapid spread.  

Officials say, early on the fire posed an imminent threat to one ranch but crews were able to save the structures from burning.   

Currently several roads are closed in the affected area.  

Steve Esser is with South Dakota Wildland Fire.   He says challenges include warm and shifty winds and difficulties in getting the resources needed to fight a wildfire this early in the year.

“Resources are a little harder to get in the spring, so coming up with engines and hand crews can be challenging.  We’ve had one air tanker get here, another one is on order.   You’re starting into the normal season for the Southwest and the Southeast has been having activity as well, some of the air resources are available from those areas, but it just takes time to get them here,” says Esser.

about 200 personnel, 44-engines, along with three helicopters and three airplanes are now employed on the fire.  More crews and equipment are en-route.    

For the latest updates on the Cold Fire, including current road closures and size, follow the Great Plains Fire Information Blog.