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Vineyard Fire Burns More Than 450 Acres

Chynna Lockett

A fire that sparked near Hot Springs Saturday night is estimated to have burned more than 450 acres of land. The flames reportedly started near a vineyard and spread into surrounding hills.

Joseph Johndreau works with the U.S. Forest Service in Chadron Nebraska. He’s the Public Information Officer for the Vineyard Fire. Recent reports say the fire is five percent contained.

“The Fire was initially attacked Saturday evening and they worked through the night on that. And then Sunday was our first full day shift. That went well especially considering the red flag warning that they worked through all day long. They continued night operations Sunday night and Monday morning and now Monday were continuing to build and strengthen our containment lines and look for hot spots and make sure we stay in the box that we’ve gotten drawn now.”

Johndreau says evacuations were ordered for homes close to the fire, some lasting just over 24 hours. He says all evacuations have been lifted but that people are urged to stay cautious and prepared.

“I don’t think the Southern Hills are unfamiliar with fires, in fact I know they’re very familiar with fires. So we were in a little bit of a lull considering he cooler wet summer we’ve been having but fire season’s here.”

Firefighters from across South Dakota and resources from surrounding states are in the area working to put the flames out. Johndreau says the cause of the fire is still under investigation.