Fires Burn in South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Michigan
Undated (AP) _ Firefighters in South Dakota and Wyoming today battled rapidly growing fires that blackened nearly 3,000 acres, threatening a one-time summer White House in the Black Hills and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of tourists and residents.
No serious injuries or property damage were reported.
Elsewhere, firefighters in Utah battled an out-of-control 750-acre fire in Zion National Park. Two state forest fires that charred 240 acres in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula were being mopped up.
Erratic winds in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming fanned a day-old 100-acre sagebrush fire to 1,300 acres today, said Fred Kingwill, a spokesman for the forest. The fire, just east of Pinedale, was sparked by Fourth of July revelers and whipped by winds Tuesday through juniper and aspen groves.
Flames approaching Sylvan Bay on Fremont Lake led to the evacuation of 47 homes, some by boat, and a nearby campground, Kingwill said.
However, officials in the nearby Shoshone National Forest say relatively calm weather helped them make good progress against an almost two-week-old 1,650-acre fire.
In South Dakota, a forest fire burning out of control in Custer State Park threatened a lodge and campgrounds, forcing the evacuation of 600 tourists and residents.
The fire, which grew from an estimated 20 acres to about 500 by Tuesday night, then multiplied to 3,000 acres today, burned around the State Game Lodge, a campground and the park headquarters, according to spokesman Greg Josten. The lodge was used as a summer White House by Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Dwight Eisenhower.
The main highway through the park was closed to traffic Tuesday night, and the fire burned to within about a mile of the Black Hills Playhouse, a summer theater in the park, according to fire camp spokeswoman Kathy Murray.
All entrances to the park were closed today.
In Utah, more than 100 firefighters battled the fire near the park’s West Rim Trail. The fire, started by lightning June 19, had been allowed to burn in a small area. However, on Sunday winds fanned it out of control.
A fire in the Manistique River area of Michigan that has blackened about 180 acres was still burning early today, said Bernie Hubbard, a state district forest manager. A smaller fire of about 60 acres in the Stutts Creek area burned ahout 60 acres before it was contained late Tuesday night, Hubbard said.