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Grass fire near Rapid City uncontained, growing in size

October 5, 2021 GMT

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A grass fire north of Rapid City is growing in size and prompting officials to warn additional residents they may need to evacuate.

Abnormally high temperatures, gusty winds and extremely dry conditions fueled a fire that began Monday afternoon. By Monday evening, the fire torched between 250 acres (1 square kilometer) and 300 acres (1.2 square kilometers) and burned uncontained, according to authorities.

Rapid City police helped evacuate the Marvel Mountain neighborhood earlier Monday and helped divert traffic around road closures. An unknown number of residents were evacuated.

It’s not known what ignited the fired and so far, no structures have been damaged.

Early Monday evening, the fire crossed into Meade County, prompting officials there to warn residents that additional evacuations may be needed.

“Any residents who live north of the Pennington County line, west of Erickson Ranch Road, and south of Elk Creek Road are encouraged to be ready to evacuate if an order is given,” Meade County Emergency Management said in an alert sent Monday evening.

Single-engine air tankers were dropping fire retardant on the north and west flanks of the fire. Additional air support was being summoned, officials said.