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Black Hills fire near Custer 50% contained, despite strong winds Thursday

A wildfire was discovered about five miles west of Custer on Thursday morning. (Great Plains Fire Information)

By Brendan Lachance, Oil City News

CASPER, Wyo. — Firefighters from multiple agencies dealt with strong winds throughout the day as they responded to the Wabash Spring Fire that was discovered at around 7 a.m. Thursday outside of Custer, South Dakota, according to Great Plains Fire Information.

Despite “battling high winds,” firefighters have been able to establish 50% containment on the roughly 111-acre fire, an update that Great Plains Fire Information provided at around 4 p.m. Thursday stated. The Custer County Sheriff’s Office said in an update issued around the same time that no structure loss or injuries have been reported as a result of the fire.

While a section of Highway 16 was closed in the morning due to the fire, that closure was lifted by early afternoon Thursday. However, Great Plains Fire Information said in its 4 p.m. update that the public is being encouraged to limit use of the highway to local traffic for firefighter and public safety.

“Evacuations have been lifted for residents along Fjerdingren Place and Big Pine Road, east of the fire perimeter,” Great Plains Fire Information said. “For residents along Highway 16, Palomino Place, and Pinto Lane, evacuations will be lifted at 6:00 p.m. For updated evacuation information, please call the Custer County Dispatch at 605-673-8176.”

Winds in the area are expected to decrease and fire crews “will remain on scene to mop up and secure the fire perimeter.”

“Forward progress has been stopped and I expect to see more progress throughout tonight,” Incident Commander Trainee John Haskivitz said in the Great Plains Fire Information update. “Full containment is not expected until sometime tomorrow.”

Further information included in the Great Plains Fire Information update is as follows:

Custer County Emergency Management has set up an evacuation center in the gym of the old Custer Armory. Click here for more information: https://www.facebook.com/CusterCountySDEM.

Fire updates and information are posted at http://gpfireinfo.blogspot.com/. For further questions, please call Wabash Spring Fire Information at (307) 217-2804 or email wabashspringsfireinfo@gmail.com.