South Dakota: Three different wildernesses in the Black Hills of South Dakota have been forced to evacuate more than 400 homes northwest of Rapid City and close Mount Rushmore, officials said Monday. According to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, the blaze erupted near Schroeder Road in Rapid City, about 24 kilometers northwest of Rapid City, which had burned up to 11/2 square miles and was “still on”.
Officials said several buildings and possibly two houses have been destroyed.
South Dakota Governor Christie Noam, who traveled to Rapid City to oversee the response, said the Schroeder Road fire started on private property.
He said “the damage is done and it is sad”. No injuries have been reported.
The Sheriff Department previously warned that it was a “very active and dangerous scene”.
The Rapid City Journal reported that about 250 firefighters were battling the explosion on a brisk afternoon when thunderstorms ranged from about 50 mph to 72 mph.
Two additional blocks were burning southwest of Rapid City near Keystone, one of which was spread over an estimated 75 acres (30.35 ha) and the other 20 acres (8.09 ha). It has closed Mount Rushmore National Memorial, as well as the surrounding roads.
South Dakota transportation officials closed Interstate 90, a 68-kilometer stretch from Kadoka to Murdo, for three hours because of a grass fire.
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