Update, 30 June, 06:35 MDT: let it burn. With afternoon thunderstorms forecast over the Crow Peak area for the next several days conditions are perfect to make a lightning struck fire on public land a controlled burn.
The Crow Peak Fire is affecting mostly Republican landowners who built in the wildland urban interface now begging the feds to protect their properties. These people, white retirees from somewhere else who hate gubmint, fled Minnesota, Colorado or California then parachuted into South Dakota hoping to isolate themselves from fair taxation, African-Americans and cultural diversity.
Phil Lampert was in the Black Hills tourist industry long before this writer was and has been a client of mine. His house is still standing because of the 2015 Cold Brook Fire.
"By the time I got to my west gate to unlock it, at my west boundary, that fire was already coming down the hill to the ranch," Lampert said. "So it was a little nerve wracking there for a while." Firefighters saved the place, with help from Lampert's years of tree-thinning and a state-federal-private prescribed burn nearby more than a year ago. [KELO teevee]There is no let it burn policy in the Black Hills because there is no money to manage a fire not on the prescribed burn list.
The clouds of smoke rise from Crow Peak, where steep, rugged terrain makes the blaze difficult to battle on foot. So the firefighting focus so far has been from the air. With a dry forecast until at least Tuesday, there's plenty of firefighting to do. And Sunday evening, the fire was still far from being contained. Early Sunday morning, fire officials were estimating the blaze area at 400 acres. [KELO teevee]There was a Crow Peak Fire stopped at 135 acres in 2012 that the Forest Service should have let burn.
Ponderosa pine only arrived in the Black Hills less than four thousand years ago.
Stupid fucking state.