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High winds fueling wildfires across South Dakota

Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 8:34 PM EDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - A very powerful storm system is leading to high winds across the Northern Plains and parts of the Rocky mountain region. This area also under a severe drought.

Several wildfires started Monday and because of the high winds, these fires are quickly getting out of control.

Peak gusts across the region have been in excess of 60-70mph, and Rapid City, SD recorded a wind gust at 76mph. Here’s a look at other peak gusts from the National Weather Service in Rapid City, SD.

In the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Schroeder wildfire grows, fanned by the intense winds.

Jerome Harvey is the Pennington County Fire Administrator. “Again, it’s a wind driven event. It is burning cured fuels. So the fire is very much traveling with the wind as we have structures intermixing with urban interface here. So we have some very dangerous conditions to deal with.”

Officials have closed down several roads and Mount Rushmore. Hundreds of homes had to be evacuated on Monday. So far the fire has destroyed two homes and several outbuilding but thankfully no injuries reported.

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