Mount Rushmore Closed, 400 Homes Evacuated Due to South Dakota Fires

More than 400 residences northwest of Rapid City were evacuated as a result of three distinct wildfires in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and Mount Rushmore was closed as a result.

On Monday afternoon, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office reported that a fire that began near Schroeder Road in the Nemo area.

Mount Rushmore Closed, 400 Homes Evacuated Due to South Dakota Fires

Some 15 miles northwest of Rapid City, had burnt as much as 1 1/2 square miles and was “still advancing.” Officials confirmed that at least one house and multiple outbuildings were damaged.

The Schroeder Road fire, according to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who was in Rapid City to lead the response. It’s terrible that lives have been lost, she remarked. It appears that nobody was hurt.

Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook on Wednesday that firefighters had contained 47% of the largest fire in the Nemo, South Dakota, region. The Schroeder Road fire has scorched about 3,400 acres so far.

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Pennington County Was Completely Consumed By Fire

Pennington County authorities have confirmed that at least one house and two pole barns were lost in the fire.

Rob Powell, the incident commander for the Schroeder Fire, claimed that about 400 residences had to be evacuated.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem informed reporters on Monday that the 244 Fire has burnt over 75 acres, forcing the closure of Mount Rushmore.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Travis Mason-Bushman said at least 15 buildings in the Mount Rushmore area were at danger.

Mason-Bushman explained that some of the buildings serve as park ranger residences while others are popular tourist destinations.

Noem stated that the monument was not in immediate danger from the 244 Fire as it was headed south. Noem said the cause of the fire, which started on private property, is yet unknown.


Wildfires in the Black Hills of South Dakota have destroyed more than 400 structures, closed Mount Rushmore.

And sparked a state of emergency, but firefighters made significant headway on Wednesday toward taming the blazes.

In light of the extreme drought and continuous fires, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed an executive order on Tuesday declaring a state of emergency until June 1.

Following the ruling, the state will be able to lend more support to local and volunteer fire departments during emergency situations.