There’s a bright side to this summer’s Fish Wildfire near Sundance

An area of the Black Hills in Wyoming charred by the Fish Wildfire.
An area of the Black Hills in Wyoming charred by the Fish Wildfire.(KOTA/KEVN)
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 7:16 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The western part of the U.S. is known to have wildfires, and our region certainly isn’t immune; as evidenced by the Fish Wildfire that burned in Sundance, Wyo., in the late summer of this year.

Numerous groups and agencies are still working together to recover from the blaze.

“Lower intensity fire in here, cleaned out the under store very nicely, and this is one area that we are really happy with the fire affects in this area,” said Forest Service Ranger Mike Gosse..

Gosse says that the topography in areas like Dueling Hills and Iron Mountain contributed to the intensity of the fire. And while some of the trees there are totally blackened and dead, Terry mentioned that they can still be harvested for lumber. Furthermore, clearing out those dead trees can help prevent wildfires in the future.

“Focus on fuel reduction projects, with all entities just because of the continuous home construction projects in the area. It has that threat for more human starts and more protection for life and property,” said Assistant Fire Management Officer Josh Hoffmann

A homeowner who was affected by the fire talks about how it has impacted his everyday life.

“Reality was bigger than what we thought, and so when it hit, we would hear when the fire came over the peak we were up near that house up there, and the fire came over Hooker Peak, and we just went ‘Oh no,’ but the fire crews were just tremendous,” said Bob O’Neil

The 6,793-acre fish fire was human-caused when a campfire spread on private land.