Week Before Trump’s Visit, Wildfire Burns Near Mount Rushmore

June 26, 2020

South Dakota brought in more resources on June 25 to fight a wildfire burning near Mount Rushmore ahead of next week’s visit to the monument by President Donald Trump for Independence Day celebrations.

The fire that started in Custer State Park on June 24 has burned an estimated 150 acres (61 hectares) about 6 miles (10 kilometers) south of the 79-year-old stone monument.

Gov. Kristi Noem’s spokesman, Ian Fury, said South Dakota Wildland Fire Division is leading a multi-state, multi-agency effort to fight the forest fire, the Rapid City Journal reported.

The Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center tweeted that eight aircraft were deployed to fight the wildfire and that hotshot crews, or highly-trained firefighters, from Wyoming and Colorado were mobilized.

Trump is planning to attend a fireworks display at the monument July 3, but some wildfire experts have raised concerns the pyrotechnics could spark fires, especially because the region has seen dry weather this year.

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

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