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Volunteers Help Put Down Parker Peak Fire

July 3, 2012, 6:16 PM by Derek Olson

Volunteers Help Put Down Parker Peak Fire

Things are looking up at the Parker Peak Fire in the rugged ranchland between Edgemont and Hot Springs.

"Crews are making excellent progress today, with mop up and securing the lines all around," National Park Service's Jason Devcich said.

The fire has burned about 800 acres and has a solid dozer-line around its perimeter.  It's work that was done with the help of  volunteer firefighters such as Nate Ginsbach, who came into the area Monday from Renner.

"We have a wildland crew out here that's been in Colorado and is now here helping with the fire.  Yesterday, they called for tender support to supply water," Ginsbach said.

So far, the Renner Volunteer Fire Department has sent a total of two trucks and five firefighters to help with the efforts in the Black Hills.  Officials say that the fight would be much different if it weren't for the help of volunteer departments.

"This couldn't be done safely or as cost-effectively without the support of our volunteer firefighter," Devcich said.

But the journey to the Black Hills fire lines isn't without sacrifices.

"They usually want you out here for about two weeks at a time.  For those of us with younger children that can be tough.  Getting away from work for two weeks can also be tough," Ginsbach said.

"They leave their families and friends at home to help those in need," Devcich said.

Ginsbach has a family and two jobs back in Sioux Falls, so he's only able to help for one week.  He anticipates on being redirected to other wildfires in the Hills once Parker Peak is officially contained.

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