The Latest: Wind gusts feed wildfire in South Dakota

The Latest: Wind gusts feed wildfire in South Dakota


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CUSTER, S.D. (AP) — The Latest on a wildfire at Custer State Park in South Dakota's Black Hills (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

High wind gusts are making it more difficult for firefighters to battle a blaze at Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

The park says in a statement that the fire has picked up Tuesday evening and due to smoky conditions, firefighters are having trouble tracking it.

The statement says the fire is 7 percent contained. The park will remain closed until Friday.

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4:25 p.m.

A wildfire at Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota has spread without causing any injuries.

Lydia Austin, a park spokeswoman, said Tuesday afternoon that the fire has grown to more than 6.25 square miles (16.2 square kilometers). That's up from more than 4.6 square miles (11.9 sq. km) reported that morning.

One unused building has burned down, but no one has been injured. Kobee Stalder, the park's visitor services program manager, tells KELO-AM that firefighters have concentrated on protecting structures including the Blue Bell Lodge and the State Game Lodge.

Stalder says people can "tip our hats" to firefighters, saying he's confident the buildings won't be lost.

The blaze erupted Monday during dry, warm weather. Austin has said the cause is under investigation.

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11:05 a.m.

A spreading wildfire has destroyed a building in Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Lydia Austin, a park spokeswoman, said Tuesday that the fire has grown to more than 4.6 square miles (11.9 square kilometers), from 4 square miles (10.4 sq. km) on Monday.

Five homes in the park have been evacuated and one unused building was burned down. No one has been injured.

The blaze is zero percent contained and about 200 firefighters are on the scene.

The blaze erupted Monday during dry, warm weather. Austin says the cause is under investigation.

Custer State Park features hills with ponderosa pine and prairie. Austin says wildlife naturally moves away from fire.

The park is closed as well as roads in and out of it.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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