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Custer State Park Remains Closed Due to Wildfire

CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. – The Legion Lake Fire is in its second day and burned 500 acres overnight, bringing the total up to an estimated 3,000 plus acres with containment remaining at zero percent. The fire has officially been labeled as type two and Rocky Mountain Team Blue is in command. Custer State Park remains closed.

Structure protection has been successful with one out building still being the only loss in the fire. The main areas of protection continue to be the Blue Bell Lodge area, State Game Lodge, park headquarters, Star Academy East and Legion Lake Lodge area.

Main objectives for Tuesday include continual structure protection, scouting for potential fire lines; active mapping with aerial recon to gain a better estimate of acreage burned; prep for potential preventative burn outs in the area of Mount Coolidge Fire Tower on Highway 87; minimizing impact to identified structures, wildlife and travel corridors; and keeping the fire south of Highway 16A, west of Wildlife Loop Road, north of Ridge Road and Lame Johnny, and east of Highway 87.

Winds have calmed since Monday and will be at 5 to 15 miles per hour coming out of the north and northwest with the temperatures reaching into the 60s for Tuesday. Conditions are very serious with all fire fuel extraordinarily dry for this time of year. High winds are expected to pick up again in the evening and remain strong into Wednesday and Thursday.

Wildlife is currently not at risk as all species in the park are used to wildfire and are naturally avoiding dangerous areas.

Highway 16A is still closed. Public officials will not open the road until safety of the public and firefighters can be guaranteed.

Legion Lake Fire Information continues to run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. MST and can be reached at LegionLakeFire@gmail.com or by calling 605-646-3263.