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Firefighters Urge Caution Outdoors As Fight Continues Against Wildfires

Wildland Fire Division
State of South Dakota
Schroeder Fire damage near Rapid City.

Firefighters say people in western South Dakota should be cautious outdoors this weekend. 

Dry conditions, high temperatures and gusty winds could turn any spark into a wildfire. Crews are already spread across several fires. 


Firefighter Chris Zoller is battling the Schroeder Fire near Rapid City. 


“We really appreciate you guys’ support out there,” he said Thursday. “Bear with us. We’re working really hard. A lot of your volunteer fire departments are out their supporting us right now, day and night. So they’re kind of the backbone of our operation right now, and it’s really awesome to see that.” 


The Schroeder Fire started  Monday. It’s burned more than 2,200 acres and destroyed one house on the western edge of Rapid City. The fire was about 50 percent contained on Thursday. Authorities have lifted some evacuation orders and road closures, but some remain in place. 


Meanwhile, the 244 Fire near Mount Rushmore has burned more than 100 acres but was 75 percent contained Thursday. Mount Rushmore National Memorial reopened.


In northwest South Dakota, the Divide Fire is 95 percent contained. It has burned almost 12,000 acres of grassland. Community members will meet April 8 in Bison to talk about relief efforts for affected ranchers.