Mount Rushmore Closed Amid ‘Active and Dangerous’ Wildfires

Firefighter carrying a ladder

NEMO, S.D. (AP) — Wildfires in the Black Hills of South Dakota have shut down Mount Rushmore and forced evacuations of some residents in an area west of Rapid City, authorities said Monday.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Department said in a release that agencies were responding to a “major fire” in the Nemo area, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) northwest of Rapid City. High winds blowing out of the west are pushing the fire east, the release said. Authorities said that fire led to evacuations along about a half-dozen roads and subdivisions.

“This is a very active and dangerous scene,” the statement said.

Another blaze southwest of Rapid City, covering an estimated 20 acres near Keystone, caused Mount Rushmore National Memorial to close, the Rapid City Journal reported.

South Dakota transportation officials shut down Interstate 90 for a 42-mile (68-kilometer) stretch from Kadoka to Murdo due to grass fires. Authorities are asking people to stay away and use alternate routes.

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