8 P.M. MYRTLE FIRE UPDATE
Published: Sunday, July 22nd, 2012
As of 6 p.m. tonight, the Myrtle Fire is 10,080 acres and 40 percent contained. During a meeting tonight at the Pringle Community Center, Lynn Kolund, Hell Canyon District Ranger, and Rocky Mountain Incident Commander Bill Hahnenberg anticipated the 100 percent containment date to be sometime Wednesday evening.
There are 621 personnel committed to reaching containment. The cause is still under investigation and the estimated total is $2.1 million.
Highway 385 is now open to RESIDENTS, who will be guided by a pilor vehicle to access the area. Fire managers and cooperating agencies will meet on Monday to discuss the possibility of opening Highway 385 to the general public.
An escort would lead residents back to their homes in the Beaver Creek and Rifle Pit areas. No homes were lost in the fire; however, one structure was. The Old Roger's Brothers Place, also known as the Williams Ranch, located at the bottom of Shirt Tail, was destroyed in the fire. The place was an old homestead claim that the Forest Service has since taken in control.
As stated before, the Forest Service and other agencies will meet tomorrow to discuss the possibility of opening HIghway 385 to the public, including Argyle Road. Power was restored to residents in the northern part of the fire's path; however, residents in the southern part (21, approximately) are still with out power. Many lines are down and electric poles are destroyed from the fire, but multiple power companies are working together to fix the problem.
The Red Cross has closed the evacuation shelter at the Mueller Center in Hot Springs. At this time, the shelter at the Custer Middle School is staffed for information only.
"This fire has been really complex, but we made good progress today," Hahnenberg said.
The 40 percent of the area contained is around the northern part of the fire. Crews have not only been fighting this fire, but many small fires in the area that were started by the weekend's storms. Since the beginning thunderstorm on Friday, 44 fires have started across the Black Hills, with all of them already contained or controlled and close to containment.
There will be a meeting TOMORROW (Monday) night at the Community Center in Pringle to further update residents on closure updates. For more information, you can call:
Custer Evacuation Information: 673-8105
Fall River Evacuation Information: 745-5155
Great Plains Fire Information: 923-8868
The Custer Chronicle will also post information about closures, Myrtle Fire's progress or any other bits of information that come our way.
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