A “dangerous” wildfire spread to the area just outside Mount Rushmore on Monday, closing the monument and its surroundings in Rapid City, South Dakota, and the fire brigade fought a strong wind-threatening battle.
According to case commander Rob Powell, one fire, named Schroeder Road Fire, was estimated to be less than 1,000 acres. During a press conference Monday afternoon. At least 400 people have been evacuated, but no injuries have been reported. Approximately 250 firefighters responded to fire extinguishing activities with winds of 50 to 72 mph.
A news release from the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook said, “This is a very active and dangerous scene, and law enforcement agencies require citizens to stay out of the area and use another route. I’m doing it. “
According to police, another fire southwest of Rapid City closed roads and closed Mount Rushmore.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem said at a press conference Monday afternoon that a 75-acre fire is not currently threatening Mount Rushmore.
She arrived in Rapid City on Monday and “supervised” the response efforts to both fires. The cause of both fires is currently unknown.
Nome said the Schroeder fire began on private land and the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved federal funding to combat the Schroeder fire.
“There is a loss, which is tragic for these families,” Nome said. “But the priority needs to be to keep people safe and put out these fires.”
Authorities said several annexes and two dwellings had been destroyed.
According to the Rapid City Journal, fires are burning wood that is very likely to spread due to strong winds.Strong winds knocked out electricity from Black Hills residents and power companies Black Hills Energy I said on Twitter.
At noon CST, the wind shifted southeast as the cold front passed, but the gust was expected to reach 60 mph until the afternoon, said Katie Pojorlie, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
The National Weather Service in Rapid City has also extended fire alerts in the area until Tuesday as northwesterly winds are expected to increase to 25-35 mph and gusts are expected to reach 45 mph.
Contribution: Associated Press.
This article was originally published in USA TODAY NETWORK. Mount Rushmore closed due to multiple wildfires in South Dakota