12:07 PM

S.D. Aircrew Spots Re-ignited Black Hills Fire

Lt. Col. Michael Marek
Public Affairs Officer
South Dakota Wing

A South Dakota Wing aircrew on a routine training flight spotted and reported a fire flare-up  in the Black Hills.

The aircrew – Col. Mike Beason, Lt. Col. Craig Goodrich and Master Sgt. Chris Banks — made the discovery during a proficiency flight.

“We were on a training flight and saw some smoke away from the known fires near Rapid City and Mount Rushmore, so we decided to check it out,” Beason said. “When we saw no one near it, we reported it.”

The fire was a fresh outbreak of the "Bobcat Fire" on state land in western Pennington County, which had listed as contained two days earlier. At least three fire trucks were reported back at the scene after the aircrew’s report.

“They were extremely thankful we reported it,” Beason said.

Beason and Goodrich are assistant directors of operations for the South Dakota Wing. Banks is search and rescue officer for the Mount Rushmore Composite Squadron.