The South Dakota Army National Guard, along with approximately
300 firefighter personnel, are on scene working to contain and suppress the
7,000-acre Myrtle Fire, located approximately one mile east of Pringle, while
protecting life, property, and natural resources.
The SDARNG is utilizing two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to conduct
water-bucket drop operations, along with several trucks helping to haul
supplies from Rapid City to the Myrtle Fire and other fires throughout the
hills. There are 17 Soldiers on state active duty orders providing support,
which includes helicopter crews, truck drivers and other operations
A Type-III Incident Management Team continues to strategies fire suppression
tactics while monitoring fire behavior, the terrain and weather forecasts.
According to incident command officials, all firefighting strategies will
prioritize the safety of the firefighters and the public.
We've called in all forces from all agencies," said Matt Spring, incident
commander. "The National Guard, Black Hills National Forest, U.S. Forest
Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service... It doesn't really
matter, if you're a firefighter, we want to utilize you."
For the past two days, SDARNG helicopters and personnel have been battling
fires throughout the Black Hills, providing support to the River Bend and
Cactus Flat fires.
"Bucket drops really support the firefighters on the ground, cool off hot
spots, save structures and help get some containment on the fire," said
Spring. "Helicopters won't put a fire out by themselves but help ensure the
firefighters' safety by knocking the intensity down so it's manageable for
South Dakota National Guard
Public Affairs Office