Wildfire

A single engine air tanker prepares to drop water on the lightning-caused Rankin Fire burning in Wind Cave National Park in southwest South Dakota.

Federal, state, and local personnel are working to control the Rankin Fire burning in Wind Cave National Park, located in southwest South Dakota.

According to the National Park Service, by 4 p.m. Friday, the lightning-caused wildfire had burned an estimated 28 acres.

The fire is burning in grass and dead and downed trees in an old prescribed-burn area. Local personnel from Wind Cave National Park, the Black Hills National Forest, and state of South Dakota Wildland Fire are responding, along with volunteer fire departments from Custer, Argyle, Edgemont, and Highlands. A crew from the Oregon Department of Forestry, and a national fire module from New Jersey are also fighting the blaze. Air resources include two fixed wing planes, two Single Engine Air Tankers, a helicopter, and an amphibious scooper air tanker known as a "Fire Boss."

No structures were threatened late Friday, NPS officials said. Park trails north of Wind Cave Canyon are closed to hiking and backcountry camping until further notice. All park roads and several trails remain open, as does the Elk Mountain campground. Travelers through the park may see smoke from park roads and overlooks and are advised to be alert for fire vehicles responding to the blaze.

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