Legion Lake Fire 90 percent contained & how it affects Custer State Park

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At Saturday morning's briefing, the incident commander said The Legion Lake Fire has scorched more than 54,000 acres, making it the third largest fire in Black Hills history.

The flames are 90 percent contained thanks to efforts from firefighters and moisture from snowfall.

Our reporter Katrina Lim takes you on site to learn how the blaze has affected Custer State Park.

Rocky Mountain Team Blue Incident Commander Rob Powell says, "By the end of shift today, we'll probably be at 90 percent and then our blue team is going away at 1800 today and then we're going to transition to a lower level of management. We'll go to a type 3 incident management team."

And how has this fire affected Custer State Park?

Park officials say this time of year is normally slow for them, but they've played integral parts in the firefighting effort.

Custer State Park Fire Forester Rochelle Plocek says, "Pretty much every member of the park team has either been involved directly on the line either staffing an engine, helping out adivising the incident management team or playing very important support roles, helping out with logistics, getting stuff for firefighters, moving heavy equipment and operating them to help enable the firefighting effort so everyone in the park has played a key role in this."

Park staff will also need to balance their usual workload along with recovery effort duties.

Rochelle Plocek says, "Our current efforts are being focused on actually getting our fences back up in place. We got a lot of creatures out there that we'd like to keep at home and so we've got extra assistance from around the state to help with some of our other Game, Fish, and Park staff to help us out."

Plocek says the park is closed at this time and is unsure of how soon it will open.

And it's not just Custer State Park that was affected.

Rob Powell says, "The ranchers out east lost a lot of grass and hay, that would be important for me. And then also hopefully we can get some hay for the buffalo and what's in the park.

Those who would like to donate hay to fire victims can contact Farm Rescue at info@farmrescue.org or call 701-252-2017.