Wildfire Near Mount Rushmore Contained Ahead of Trump Visit

Old fire truck

CUSTER, S.D. (AP) — A wildfire located near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota has been completely contained, according to Gov. Kristi Noem’s office.

The fire comes amid preparations for President Donald Trump’s visit to the monument for Independence Day celebrations and fireworks next week. The state called in 117 firefighters, including from Colorado and Wyoming. Some wildfire experts have raised concerns that the pyrotechnics could spark more fires, especially because the region has seen dry weather this year.

The fire started in Custer State Park on Wednesday burned an estimated 60 acres (24 hectares) about 6 miles (10 kilometers) south of the 79-year-old stone monument. The governor’s office initially reported the fire spanned 150 acres (60 hectares), but revised that estimate on Thursday.

The Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center tweeted Wednesday evening that eight aircraft had been deployed to fight the wildfire and that hotshot crews of highly trained firefighters.

Noem has said that event planners are hoping for rain this week, but are monitoring fire conditions and would decide if it is safe to set off fireworks.

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