Good Progress Made Against Black Hills Fires

    Although the numbers didn’t change much, firefighters made good progress Wednesday against the Schroeder Fire, burning just northwest of Rapid City near Nemo. 

      Incident Commander Jared Hohn of the Rocky Mountain “Blue” Type 2 Incident Management Team said Wed night that better mapping and burnouts had increased the size of the fire by 30 acres to 2,165.

       Containment was still listed at 47%, but work to strengthen fire lines advanced to the point that about 80 firefighters were either sent home or to other fires. Some evacuated residents were allowed to return home, but other areas are still closed. 

       There have been no injuries and the most recent report on damage still listed just one home and several barns or outbuildings. 

        Plans for today include more burnouts along the southern perimeter in steep drainages that are inaccessible to equipment, as well as extending and strengthening containment lines, and continuing mop up in some areas. 

       The report on the 244 fire, burning in the Mount Rushmore National Memorial near Keystone, is also positive.

       Incident Commander Eric Allen said last night it’s now 75% contained at 136-acres, 13-acres larger after more accurate mapping. 

      Mountain Rushmore, closed since shortly after the 244 Fire began on Monday, reopened this morning at 5:00, but Iron Mountain Road remains closed because of fire equipment and personnel

      The 244 Fire has been determined to be human-caused, but the exact cause remains under investigation.