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Large grass fire forces evacuations in north Rapid City

October 4, 2021 GMT

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A large grass fire forced people to evacuate in north Rapid City on Monday.

The Rapid City Fire Department said the fire began at about 1:30 p.m. Monday and had grown to about 100 acres by 4 p.m. and was moving northeast. The cause of the fire was being investigated, but the flames were being fueled by abnormally high temperatures, gusty winds and drought-like dryness, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Mandatory evacuations were being enforced in the Marvel Mountain neighborhood. It was not immediately clear how many residents were affected.

“We do have multiple crews out here working on the fire and it is still running really hot towards the Deadwood Avenue area,” said Rapid City Fire Department spokeswoman Tessa Jaeger.

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Great Plains Fire Information said federal and state firefighters have responded to help with the blaze, which is being called the Auburn Fire. A single-engine air tanker and heavy helicopters are providing an air attack for the fire.

The Rapid City Police Department is asking the public to avoid the area north of Interstate 90 between Haines Avenue and Deadwood Avenue.