National Gaurd helicopters assist with Schroeder Fire response

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 3:20 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - National Guard helicopters are dropping water to extinguishing fires burning in the Black Hills.

Right now there are two fires are burning. The Schroeder Fire is at around 1,900 acres, authorities said.

The Mount Rushmore National Memorial remains closed as the 244 Fire has spread to about 90 acres and is threatening about 15 structures near Keystone.

National Guard helicopters are taking water from Canyon Lake to assist in extinguishing the Schroeder Fire.

Scott Jacobson, US Forest Service PIO said the Schroeder Fire is “definitely a unique fire.”

“It spread faster than any fire I’ve seen with the wind that we’ve had and the structures that we in the way,” Jacobson said. “This is a great interagency effort between ... all the different agencies involved, [including] the South Dakota National Guard, volunteer fire departments, the city ... just really a great, great effort, working together to get this thing put out.”

Gov. Kristi Noem is with National Guardsmen as they drop water on the fires.

As of Tuesday, authorities said 250 firefighters from across the state are responding to the incident. One home and two outbuildings have been destroyed. Officials estimate about 230 homes have been evacuated.

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