Crews battling Black Hills wildfires hampered by strong wind

Wildfires have forced evacuations and highway closures in South Dakota's Black Hills. Wildfires have forced evacuations and highway closures in South Dakota's Black Hills. |  Photo: KOTA-TV via ABC

WDIO-TV and The Associated Press
Updated: March 30, 2021 11:57 AM
Created: March 29, 2021 05:23 PM

High winds are hampering firefighters battling wildfires in the Black Hills of South Dakota that have forced hundreds of people to evacuate and Mount Rushmore National Monument to close.

The Schroeder Fire and two otheres are burning on the western edge of Rapid City. The Associated Press reports at least one home has been destroyed.

KOTA-TV reported that between 400 and 500 homes have been evacuated, and police have established checkpoints. The American Red Cross has set up a checkpoint at a church to help people who need shelter.

The wind-driven Schroeder Fire was estimated to be between 800 and 1,000 acres in size, officials said at a Monday afternoon press conference.

Elsewhere, two fires are burning in the Keystone area, including one that closed the highway to Mount Rushmore, which is closed until further notice.

As of Monday afternoon, the 244 Fire was estimated at 40 to 50 acres and the Keystone Fire was estimated at 30 acres. Officials said the 244 Fire is burning in an area with heavy dead and downed timber with very high potential for spread.

The causes of the fires are not yet known.

Credits

WDIO-TV and The Associated Press

Copyright 2021 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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