fire is now 50 percent contained. Fire information officer Julie
aided by a helicopter doing water drops. The news release said 22 structures
Earlier Monday, a shift in the wind helped crews build fire lines
in areas that burned the previous day, fire spokesman Brian Scott
said. "A little bit here and a little bit there we'll burn, but
hopefully not a lot today," Scott said Monday.
No people or livestock had been harmed by the fire that was
sparked by a vehicle Friday afternoon in the Edgemont area, about
80 miles southwest of Rapid City.
Capt. Ruth Castro, a spokeswoman for U.S. Northern Command at
Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, said the plan was
flying from that base. Six people were aboard, but no other
information was immediately released.
Relatives of Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal, of Mooresville, N.C.,
said they were told he was killed in the crash. Three people were
retrieved from the wreckage and taken to a Rapid City hospital, the
Fall River County Sheriff's Office says.
The military initially grounded the remaining seven C-130s,
But has since lifted the no-fly ban and reinstated their use. The
Planes have been filling up with fire retardant and flying out of
Peterson Air Force Base to fight fires in Colorado, Wyoming,
Montana, and South Dakota.
All eight C-130s were dispatched to Peterson Air Force Base in
Colorado Spirngs last week to fight Colorado wildfires. The C-130
can drop 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than five
seconds, covering an area one-quarter of a mile long by 100 feet
wide, and can be refilled in less than 12 minutes, according to the
Castro said the Charlotte, N.C.-based tanker made at least two
drops of retardant on the White Draw Fire on Sunday before crashing
at about 6 p.m.
The fire was burning mainly on U.S. Forest Service land,
although residents of five homes were asked to evacuate voluntarily
over the weekend.
Steep terrain, rattlesnakes and hot, dry weather challenged those
battling the fire. The National Weather Service has forecast temperatures
in the 90s through the end of the week.
Frank Maynard, Fall River County's emergency management
director, described the terrain as "very, very rugged, straight up
and straight down cliffs." "You could take a vehicle in there, if you
wanted to get rid of the vehicle when you're done," he said.
Rancher Mark Hollenbeck said he will have to sell most of his
250 cattle and 200 sheep because the fire burned about 1,000 acres
of grass on his 1,600-acre ranch five miles north of Edgemont. He
also expects to lose customers at the guest lodge he runs on his
ranch because the scenery now features blackened pastures.
The rancher also said he was upset because fire crews were
called away from his ranch early Saturday morning, when they were
making progress in snuffing out the flames while the wind was low
and the humidity was high. Hot, dry winds later in the day fanned
the flames and burned more of his property, he said.
"It means I'm going to be selling livestock because I have lost
a considerable amount of my grazing, which means I will lower my
income potential for the next several years," Hollenbeck said.
Scott said he did not know anything about pulling firefighters
off Hollenbeck's ranch Saturday, but he said crews are trying to
save ranchers' grass after first protecting the lives of
firefighters and the public.
"We all know grass is king out here," Scott said. "For these
ranchers, that is their livelihood."
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)