Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Black Hills fire likely sparked by Forest Service road grader

A fire in the Black Hills that has scorched nearly 16 square miles was likely sparked by a U.S. Forest Service road grader, officials said Tuesday. A Forest Service special agent determined the most probable cause of the Myrtle fire in western South Dakota was when a grader's metal blade fractured a rock on the road surface and ignited grass on the roadside. The Myrtle fire started Thursday and was about 75 percent contained Tuesday. It is expected to be fully contained by Wednesday, said Marian Swinney, a fire spokeswoman. "It's still at 10,080 (acres), but we don't expect it to grow," Swinney said Tuesday morning. "We're doing really well." About 670 firefighters have been battling the blaze, Swinney said, and crews will be reassigned to other wildfires in the region once the Myrtle fire is under control...more

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