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Contact: Tom Farrell, 605.745.1130
WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. - A prescribed fire at Wind Cave National Park escaped control early this afternoon and was designated a wildfire at 1:30 p.m. Several hours into the Unit 2 Cold Brook Burn this morning, an unpredicted fire whirl, or dust devil, picked up burning ash and carried material over 100 yards outside of the planned containment efforts.
Fire engines and hand crews have been brought in from nearby agencies to assist firefighters already on the ground; in addition, air resources have been ordered to include 2 South Dakota Air National Guard Blackhawk helicopters and a Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT).
At this point, the fire is within the park boundary and estimated to be around 1,000 acres. It is burning in the "keyhole" area of the park, land acquired by the park in 2011. There are 70 people assigned to the fire with no estimated time of containment.