Firefighters Combat South Dakota Wildfire

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A 2,100-acre wildfire burning west of Rapid City, South Dakota, is currently almost halfway contained, after being discovered just two days ago.

The Schroeder Fire was 47% contained as of Wednesday morning, according to fire tracking website InciWeb. Around 250 people were fighting the fire.

The containment rate has stayed the same for about 24 hours.

The fire started sometime Monday morning, however, its cause is still unknown.

On Wednesday, firefighters planned to focus on protecting structures throughout the fire area and constructing and improving fire lines on the northern and southern areas of the fire’s perimeter.

However, gusty winds of up to 29 miles per hour were expected to present a challenge for the day.

Overnight crews were to continue patrolling and monitoring fire activity around structures and private property.

Currently, six aircraft are being used to combat the fire by dropping fire retardant on the flames.

On Monday, the Pennington County, South Dakota, Sheriff’s Office confirmed at least one home and two pole barns had been lost in the fire. According to KOTA TV, around 400 to 500 homes have been evacuated.

South Dakota Gov. Krisi Noem has declared a state of emergency in the face of the fire.

Due to the smoke and fire, Mount Rushmore even closed to visitors both Tuesday and Wednesday.

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