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Two Major Fires In The Hills, 0% Contained

Travis Mason-Bushman, U.S. Forest Service.
Images of the 244 Fire burning 1.5 miles southwest of Keystone, near Mount Rushmore National Memorial.


Two different fires burning in the Black Hills—one near Mt. Rushmore and one near Rapid City—are zero percent contained. 

Strong winds overnight kept the Schroeder Fire near Rapid City burning hot. The fire is now at about 1900 acres. Two-hundred and fifty firefighters from across the state are responding to the incident. One home and two outbuildings have been destroyed. Officials estimate about 230 home have been evacuated. 

Scott Jacobson is the public information officer for the fire near Rapid City. He says there are still several evacuation orders in place.  

“If we get a wind shift with that fire that’s burning pretty hot overnight—if we get a good wind shift today it could make a run,” Jacobson says. “We’re just trying to keep people safe and keep them out of the areas where the fire could go.” 

The Mount Rushmore National Memorial remains closed. The 244 Fire has spread to about 90 acres and is threatening about 15 structures. 

Travis Mason-Bushman is the public information officer for that fire. He says the fire is directly adjacent to main access roads to the memorial. 

“We’re looking forward to being able to reopen it as soon as we can—as soon as we can safely do so,” Mason-Bushman says. “Folks’ patients and cooperation is really appreciated.” 

Mason-Bushman says the fire is burning in steep and rugged terrain. 

The Black Hills are still under a wind advisory. Low humidity is also contributing to the fires’ spread.