Update: Geography helps crews fight wildfire

Hand crew had to hike in to tackle Lost Cabin Wildfire
The Lost Cabin Wildfire is burning in the Black Elk Wilderness area of the Black Hills National...
The Lost Cabin Wildfire is burning in the Black Elk Wilderness area of the Black Hills National Forest. Map and photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service.(MGN Online)
Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 11:20 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - A wildfire that started overnight in the Black Elk Wilderness is now under attack by firefighters and helicopter crews.

With half of the five-acre Lost Cabin Wildfire burning in bedrock, crews can focus on the fire burning in heavy dead and downed timber. This is in an area that was devastated by the mountain pine beetle infestation.

Two South Dakota Army National Guard helicopters are currently in use; and another chopper is on the way from Colorado to help. Because the lakes closest to the fire are frozen over, helicopter crews must shuttle water from Sheridan Lake.

Firefighters expect to be on scene into the night.

Investigators are already looking at the possible cause of the fire. There were no natural events last night that could have sparked the fire; and there are no roads or structures in the area.

Original Story:

Firefighters are tackling a wildfire in the Black Elk Wilderness Area this morning.

The Lost Cabin Wildfire started some time last night and is currently about five acres, burning in an area with heavy dead and downed timber.

According to a release from the Forest Service, Trail #2 (about a mile northwest of Black Elk Peak) is closed, and the public is asked to stay out of the area. Hand crews and Blackhawk helicopters from the South Dakota National Guard will be dropping water on the fire.

We will have updates on the fire as soon as possible. More information will be available at

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