The Kirk Hill Wildfire, which broke out adjacent to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and consumed 80 acres, has finally been contained, reports the U.S. Forest Service and Associated Press.
As fire crews continue to extinguish the last remnants of the blaze, the U.S. Forest Service reports that the Kirk Hill Wildfire has been fully contained. The flames broke out in Lawrence County on August 11, less than five miles from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Multiple South Dakota fire agencies are responsible for controlling the wildfire. In addition, federal crews by both ground and air would help quell the flames. Thankfully, no injuries or property casualties would result during its wide-reaching burn.
The Kirk Hill Wildfire is responsible for torching approximately 80 acres. While the locals and visitors for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally are thankfully safe from fire – officials say that citizens should use caution as smoke will be present for the next several days.
The 2021 Sturgis rally continues through the 15th of August. The fire would blaze for several days during the event, which began on August 6. Officials would not order any evacuations during the rally, however.
“Crews are responding to a wildfire 5 miles from Sturgis. At 5:30 p.m., Forest Service Personnel say it has burned 50 acres and is 0-percent contained. The cause of the fire is undetermined and under investigation. There are homes nearby.”Kota Territory News
The first to respond to the Kirk Hill Fire would be a police officer on Wednesday, August 11. While the fire was remote, the officer’s mid-afternoon call may have saved countless structures from razing. The fire’s breadth quickly doubled over the course of Wednesday night from 40 to 80 acres.
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally: Kirk Hill Wildfire is a Close Call
As of Friday, the cause of the Kirk Hill fire remains under investigation, according to NBC’s News Center 1. In the meantime, officials are asking anyone in the area to exercise caution in recreation in and around the Black Hills area.
“Just be careful with what you’re doing recreating out there,” Kirk Hill Fire Incident Commander Ben Dempsey tells News Center 1. “And just be aware of where you’re going especially whether you’re going off road or on a trail, just be aware of what you’re doing out there and just be careful.”
Fire crews will continue to patrol the area and “mop up” any remnants of the fire for several days. Heavy smoke will remain in the atmosphere for much longer, which may impact the estimated 500,000+ people visiting the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this week. The rally reached a peak in 2015 with over 700,000 people.
While these hundreds of thousands of rally attendees may have to cope with lingering smoke, the Kirk Hill Wildfire is 100% under control as of 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 12, confirms the Associated Press.