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Fire near Rockerville nearly contained

  • Updated

Firefighters are battling a the Aero Fire near the intersection of Neck Yoke and Windmill roads in the Rockerville area.

Updated 10:35 a.m.: The fire in the Rockerville area near Neck Yoke and Windmill roads has been mostly contained, according to Rapid City Fire Department Public Information Officer Oliver White.

The fire which began at 10:30 p.m. Friday burned nearly 9 acres. Though the fire is not spreading at this time, fire officials don't expect to have it fully contained until Saturday evening due to high winds, according to White.

Two hand crews are working now to dig ditches and put out flames. 

Ray Bubb, with South Dakota Wildland Fire Division, ruled out lightning as the cause of the fire. Bubb, who serves as chief of the Rapid City office of the division, also said that officials do not believe the fire was intentionally set.

According to Bubb, firefighters were defensive in their approach to the fire that started in a 150-foot canyon, but by 5 a.m. Saturday, they were able to attack the fire. 

Nearly 120 firefighters and 60 engines responded to the fire Friday night. As of 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 97 firefighters and 27 engines remained at the scene. 

No one was injured in the fire, though there was some property damage to ornamental trees and lawns. No structures were damaged.

Original story: More than 120 firefighters are battling a 10-acre fire near Neck Yoke and Windmill roads in the Rockerville area.

About 20 homes are threatened at this time, though no home losses or injuries have been reported. The Pennington County Sheriff's Office and South Dakota Highway Patrol made door-to-door notifications of possible evacuation orders, but no evacuations have been ordered yet, according to a news release from Emergency Management Director Dustin Willett.

Firefighters are challenged in fighting the fire due to the steep terrain, dry fuels, smoky conditions and winds of up to 30 mph, according to the release.

The following agencies are aiding in battling the blaze: Black Hawk Fire Department, Box Elder Fire Department, Doty Fire Department, Hill City Fire Department, Hermosa Fire Department, Sturgis Fire Departnemt, Hayward Fire Department, Johnson Siding Fire Department, Keystone Fire Department, North Haines Fire Department, Piedmont Fire Department, Rapid City Fire Department, Rapid Valley Fire Department, Rockerville Fire Department, Whispering Pines Fire Department, Pennington County Fire Coordinator, Pennington County Emergency Management , Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Black Hills Area Red Cross, Custer Fire Department, Piedmont Fire Department, South Dakota Wildland Fire, South Dakota Highway Patrol, U.S. Forest Service and the Ellsworth Fire Department.

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