Auburn Fire Accidental, Mechanical Failure In Earthmover Blamed

Riley Spencer SD Wildland Fire

     State and local officials say a mechanical failure in a piece of earthmoving equipment caused the Auburn Fire, which has burned about 1.5 square miles northwest of Rapid City since Monday afternoon. 

       South Dakota Wildland Fire and the Rapid City Fire and Police Departments tweeted the fire was an accident because the equipment was parked and hadn’t been used for some time.

     The Auburn Fire is still listed at only 50% contained, but it’s been encircled by lines since Tuesday and officials don’t expect to conduct any more night-time operations unless conditions change dramatically.

     Elevated fire conditions are expected throughout the day, but lighter winds and an increasing chance of rain are forecast for tomorrow.

     Crews are focused mop-up to further strengthen containment lines and on rehab operations. The rehab plan calls for restoring and seeding dozer lines, fixing fences, and repairing roads and trails damaged by equipment.

      Residents of the Marvel Mountain area were temporarily evacuated, but the neighborhood remains closed to the general public. Those near the fire will continue to see smoke for some time.

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