Grasslands fire near Lemmon 75% contained - KOTA Territory News

Grasslands fire near Lemmon 75% contained

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LEMMON, S.D. (AP) _ A fire that scorched nearly 22 square miles on the Grand River National Grasslands in the Dakotas is about 75 percent contained.

The fire spread Wednesday after a prescribed burn by the U.S. Forest Service southeast of Hettinger, N.D., escaped containment lines and moved into South Dakota's Perkins County. 

Eighteen fire engines and two water tenders are working on strengthening the perimeter and providing structure protection. Full containment is expected by Friday evening.

Grand River District Ranger Paul Hancock says the Forest Service will be conducting an assessment to determine property damage and will be working on strategies to pay for the damage caused by the agency.

Some residents say the Forest Service hadn't listened to warnings about conducting the burn.

The U.S. Forest Service has scheduled a public meeting to talk about the fire.

The meeting is set for 4 p.m. Saturday at the North Dakota State University research center in Hettinger, N.D.

 (Original Story)

LEMMON, S.D. (AP) _ The head of the Grand River Ranger District says engines and water tankers from fire departments across western South Dakota and western North Dakota have been helping to suppress a 22-square-mile fire in Perkins County.
 
    Ranger Paul Hancock says the wind-driven fire grew rapidly Wednesday afternoon and ``it has a lot of fingers to it.''
 
    Hancock says there hasn't been any significant growth on Thursday thanks to colder temperatures and higher humidity.
 
    The U.S. Forest Service prescribed burn escaped containment lines southeast of Hettinger, N.D., on Wednesday. Some private property was burned over but no structure damage or injuries have been reported.
 
    Hancock says the priority is the protection of life and property and getting it contained.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

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