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Large Fire Blazing In Black Hills National Forest

March 28, 1988

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) _ High winds and dry tinder fueled a fire that was burning uncontrolled Sunday night in the Black Hills National Forest, authorities said.

″It is a very large fire,″ said Dick Hawthorne, a dispatcher at the U.S. Forest Service’s Pactola office. ″At one time one of our fellows called in and said it was about a mile long.″

The fire was 60 percent contained by fire breaks Sunday evening after burning an estimated 350 acres, said Forest Service spokeswoman Dianne Reimers. Winds were expected to kick up again Monday, but officials did not expect the fire to get much larger, Ms. Reimers said.

About 140 firefighters were working to contain the blaze, which they hoped to have under control by Monday afternoon, she said.

No one had been evacuated, she said.

Earlier Sunday, when the Forest Service measured winds at 40 mph and gusts at 50-60 mph, Hawthorne said about a dozen homes along Sheridan Lake Road southwest of Rapid City were being monitored.

Temperatures reached 80 degrees around noon in the Rapid City area Sunday before a cold front came through and dropped readings to 50 degrees by 3 p.m.

The fire-danger index for all of South Dakota was rated ″extreme″ Sunday because of high temperatures, winds and low relative humidity readings, the National Weather Service said.

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