Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Hams on SOTA Activation Help Spot Forest Fire
Members of South Dakota’s Black Hills AmateurRadio Club are credited with bringing a quick response to a small forest fire that officials were then able to keep from spreading. According to the ARRL Letter, a dozen club members were taking part in a Summits on the Air (SOTA) activation when two members of the group spotted smoke from their perch atop Cicero Peak in the Black Hills. They asked a local ham on a VHF simplex frequency if there had been any fires reported to the Forest Service, who then relayed the request on a local repeater. An off-duty forest ranger was monitoring the repeater and called in the alert, prompting a response by a fire crew and helicopter. They were able to quickly contain the fire and keep it from spreading.