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UPDATE: Wind-driven fire near Pierre nearly contained

oahe dam prarie fire
oahe dam prarie fire(KOTA/KEVN)
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 2:43 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA) - UPDATE 3:33 p.m. Jan. 14, 2021

Authorities say a large grass fire near the Oahe Dam north of Pierre is now 90% contained.

Hughes County Emergency Manager Rob Fines tells the South Dakota Broadcasting Association the fire so far has burned an estimated 350 acres of cropland and an additional 80 acres of grass.

Fines says no homes or structures were lost.

The same high winds that helped spread the fire also pushed the blaze towards nearby Lake Oahe in an area known as Peoria Flats.

Strong northwest winds gusting past 50 mph drove smoke from the fire into the Capital City and caused visibility issues miles downriver from Oahe Dam.

Fire crews are fighting against strong winds as they battle a grass fire in central South Dakota.

The fire broke out Thursday afternoon in the Peoria Flats area, north of the Oahe Dam near Pierre.

The Highway Patrol is asking people to avoid S.D. Highway 1804 to give emergency crews room to work.

High winds are making the situation difficult for firefighters. A winter storm system is moving across the system, leading to gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour across South Dakota and into Minnesota. However, no precipitation is expected to fall in the Pierre area, which has seen drier than normal conditions lately.

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