Fire Near Rapid City Forces Evacuations


    A large grass fire continues to burn north of Rapid City, but crews have gained ground overnight and there have still been no structures lost.

      The Auburn Fire was listed at 6:30 last night as 250-300 acres and zero-percent containment, but an 8:00 AM update put containment at 25% with lines completely around the perimeter. 

       The acreage did grow to between 500-750 acres, but a good portion of the increase came from a successful overnight burnout that strengthened the lines on the west and north sides of the fire.

    The Auburn Fire began about 1:30 PM and forced a number of evacuations, which remain in effect.

       It’s burning in an area with major paved roads that provide ready-made fire lines while allowing quick movement for personnel and engines. 

    State, local, and federal ground crews are being aided today by an Air Attack spotter platform, a large aerial tanker, multiple small aerial tankers, and a Type 1 helicopter. The use of drones in the fire area is banned.

      The cause of the Auburn Fire is still under investigation, but the fast-moving flames were fueled by abnormally high temperatures, gusty winds, and drought-like dryness.