Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sheep Draw Fire

Jonathan Moor is now the Public Information Officer 
assigned to the Sheep Draw Fire. 
Media and public can reach him at: 406.366.9274.

Update provided at 5:55 PM on April 2, 2015

  • As of 6:00 PM the Sheep Draw Fire is 100% contained
  • This fire continues to be in mop up, patrol, and rehab status
  • Investigation of cause is ongoing

Update provided at 9:06 PM on April 2, 2015
  • 85% Contained
  • This fire is now in patrol and mop up status
  • The Incident Commander is currently working with local ranchers and the volunteer fire department
  • The fire remains under investigation

Update provided at 3:07 PM on April 1, 2015
 U.S. Forest Service Wildland Firefighters monitor smoldering logs in high winds at the Sheep Draw Fire. High winds have kept logs and stumps burning, however the crews have managed to keep the fire from spreading any further.  (photo Jonathan Moor)

Kevin Woster, a Reporter with KELO Rapid City, collects b-roll footage of a burning log at the Sheep Draw Fire. The 13,949-acres fire drew the attention of a number of regional media outlets including print, radio and television. (photo Jonathan Moor)

Update provided at 11:48 PM on April 1, 2015

  • Size remains at 13,949 acres
  • 70% contained, although an increase in containment is expected 
  • 35-45 mph winds currently over the fire with gusts up to 50 mph
  • Fireline is holding well against the winds
  • Fire Managers have started to demob equipment and hand crews
  • Rehab efforts are currently taking place on the interior dozer line
  • The public can expect to see interior smoke until we receive significant precipitation

Photos updated at 8:15 PM on March 31, 2015
Photos taken by Jonathan Moor at the close of the day today.
A few pockets of smoke linger in the draws and coulees.
 However, firefights have managed to achieve 70 percent containment.
This barn still stands at sunset after the Sheep Draw Fire passed close by.

Photos updated at 5:48 PM on March 31, 2015

Photos taken by Air Attack who flew over the fire today.
What a difference a day makes - this is the northeast flank of the fire.

Some smoke still visible coming from interior portions of the fire.

Update provided at 4:16 PM on March 31, 2015

  • Size is now estimated at 13,949 acres
  • The fire is now 70% contained
  • One non-commercial structure was burned. The structure was a protective shed for a natural gas well. The gas well caught fire the first day and was put out by the first night. 

Update provided at 12:06 PM on March 31, 3015

  • As of 6:00 PM last night, two Dozers met and tied in the line around the fire (one from the north and one from the south)
  • The successful burnout operation ended at 10:00 PM last night
  • No injuries of both firefighters and the public have been reported 
  • This fire is burning mainly on public and private land with a small portion of Bureau of Land Management Land

Fact Sheet updated at 11:54 on March 31, 2015

Size            10,200 acres (as of 8 a.m. March 31, 2015) Type 3 Incident
Started      March 28, 2015
Location    7 mi. East, 12 mi. South of Camp Crook, SD
Cause        Unknown (under investigation)
Incident Command Post      At Harding VFD Station  (mobile trailer)
Incident Commander           Jim Strain
Public Information Officer   Jonathan Moor
            cell (406) 366-9274

Lead Agency      Division of Wildland Fire, South Dakota Dept. of Agriculture

Supporting Agencies

  • South Dakota National Guard
  • U.S. Bureau Of Land Management
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • South Dakota Highway Patrol
  • Harding County: Sheriff’s Office; Emergency Management; Board of Commissioners
Personnel  111


  • 2 Type-1 Helicopters (South Dakota National Guard)
  • 1 King Air 90 Twin Engine Fixed Wing Air Attack Platform (State of South Dakota)
  • 2 Road Graders
  • 3 Bulldozers
  • 4 Water Tenders
  • 13 Type-6 Engines
  • 2 Type-4 Engines

Incident Objectives

  • Ensure Public and Firefighter safety at all times
  • Hold fire west of Harding Road
  • Hold fire north of Collins Road
  • Protect grazing, timber, and sagebrush values north of West Short Pines Hills

Map updated at 11:41 AM on March 31, 2015

Photos updated at 10:44 AM on March 31, 2015
Sheep Draw Fire

Photo updated at 7:08 PM on March 30, 2015

Sunset at the Sheep Draw Fire. Photo taken from the Incident Command Post

Photos updated at 6:02 PM on March 30, 2015
Photos taken on a recon flight this afternoon.
View from the southeast side of the fire along the Harding Road.

View from the southwest side of the fire. Looking at slop over into a draw.

View from the northwest side of the fire which is the most active portion. 

View from the northwest flank of the fire.  

Updated at 4:46 PM on March 30, 2015
  • Fire Command flew over the fire today to gain fire intelligence.   
  • The latest conservative estimate in size is 10,200 acres.
  • There are no changes on the incident status, firefighters are still in full suppression strategy.  Fire Managers will continue to ramp up personnel working with the Incident Management Team (IMT) in light of critical incident fire weather forecasted for tomorrow.  

Photo taken from the Incident Command Post located in Harding, SD.

Updated at 12:33 PM on March 30, 2015
  • The Sheep Draw Fire is now 15% contained.
Black Hat Hand Crew, Crew Boss on the Sheep Draw Fire

Map of the Sheep Draw Fire updated at 11:18 AM on March 30, 2015

Photos updated at 10:55 AM on March 30, 2015
Sheep Draw Fire
National Guard Black Hawk Helicopter 

Sheep Draw Fire - Dozer putting in fireline

Sheep Draw Fire 

Updated 10:16 AM, March 30 2015
  • Size remains at 6,430 acres
  • A Fire Investigator is on scene working to determine cause
  • Four primary structures  and 18 outbuildings (which include natural gas wells/sites) are threatened.  Structure protection is in place and Fire Officials are working with local resources to ensure public and firefighter safety.
  • This fire is burning in Fuel Models 2 (grass) and 7 (timber overstory with pockets of heavier fuels)
  • A Type 3 team has assumed command as of 8:00 AM today
  • Fire Officials are working on a complexity analysis today to determine if this fire should be typed at a 2 level (meaning a more complex incident)
  • No injuries of firefighters or the public have been reported
  • Weather right now on scene is 52 degrees with wind gusts up to 18 MPH (moderate winds) and the relative humidity at 45% 
  • The temperature is expected to reach 69 degrees today with higher wind gusts up to 38 MPH.  There is currently a Fire Weather Watch in Harding County with high winds are expected.

Updated 9:20, Sunday March 29, 2015

Fire is now 6430 acres

Updated 2:45, Sunday March 29, 2015

Fire is now 5600 acres
Jim Strain from SD Wildland Fire is the type 3 Incident Commander
2 helicopters from SD National Guard have been ordered
Fire officials estimate containment/control in 4 to 5 days

Updated 11:11, Sunday March 29,2015

Fire size is 5000+ acres on private and state lands. A Type 3 team has been ordered. No injuries have been reported. The cause is under investigation.

Located in the West Short Pines of Harding County
Estimated size is 2000 Acres
Local and Federal resources on scene and a 20 person hand crew and dozer have been requested
Cause is unknown at this time
Sustained winds of 40+ mph with wind gusts of 70+ reported