Update and Aftermath of the Dry Creek Fire
At 12:30 p.m. on Monday, March 29, the fire siren began to blare in Murdo. A prairie fire had started a little ways north of Okaton. Combined with high winds and dry conditions, Jones County Sheriff Rich Sylva knew it was going to be bad. They immediately called for mutual aid.
Responding along with Murdo and Draper fire units were Vivian, Presho, Kennebec, Midland, Kadoka, Belvidere, White River, Wood, Norris, Ft. Pierre, Four Corners, and USFS Ft. Pierre National Grasslands. Also Murdo City police, Jones County Ambulance and Emergency Management, Jones county Sheriff, South Dakota Highway Patrol, and South Dakota Department of Transportation.
The fire traveled nine and a half miles and covered approximately 9,900 acres.
The fire crossed I-90 and Hwy. 16 causing closures for a stretch between Murdo and Kadoka. Despite the wind and dry conditions, firefighters managed to get the fire under control by early evening before dark.
The Dry Creek Fire took several old structures but no home, livestock or hay losses.
West Central Electric has reported damage to infrastructure, poles burnt off, and significant damage to a transmission line north of Okaton. However, all WCE customers currently have service.
Emergency Management, along with many local volunteers, put together food and drink for the crew battling the fire.
Firefighters continued to monitor the situation insuring nothing flares up again.
Sylva says there was a downed power line in the area of the fire’s origin but the cause is still under investigation.