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400 homes evacuated, Rushmore closed amid South Dakota fires

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Posted at 8:46 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 20:46:23-04

Authorities say three separate wildfires in the Black Hills of South Dakota have forced evacuations of at least 400 homes northwest of Rapid City and shut down Mount Rushmore.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Department said a fire that started near Schroeder Road in the Nemo area, about 15 miles northwest of Rapid City, had burned as much as 1 1/2 square miles and was “still moving” on Monday afternoon.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, in Rapid City to oversee the response, said the fire started on private property. Two additional blazes were burning southwest of Rapid City, near Keystone, with one covering an estimated 75 acres and the other 20 acres. That caused Mount Rushmore National Memorial to close, as well as surrounding roads.