Fire near Rapid City Regional Airport crisps 110 acres of land

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 5:24 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - At about 11:30 in the morning Thursday, fire crews from all over the area responded to a grass fire in a wheat field off of Highway 44 and east of Rapid City Regional Airport.

Fire officials say the fire burned 110 acres across a narrow stretch of land estimated to be about a mile long.

Joe Tjaden, Rapid Valley Fire Chief, says the fire was started by a piece of agricultural equipment that struck a rock, igniting the nearby vegetation. He says the fire stayed within the vegetation, which is about the best they could have asked for.

He says the fire was “obviously not intentional. It wouldn’t have been much of a big deal, except for the wind today carried it way fast, way hard.”

The fire spread across multiple properties and no structures or vehicles were lost.

Officials say the fire was contained around 2:00 this afternoon after units finished putting out the last pieces of smoking ember.

Tjaden says that if you encounter a fire, it’s vital to get the call in as soon as possible.

”It doesn’t hurt to get the call in early. The person that started it called and even by the time we got here,” says Tjaden, “it was gone way faster than he expected it to be.”

Officials warn that the windy and currently dry weather make for hazardous fire conditions.

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