Firefighters optimistic about Legion Lake Fire progress

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They said containment was expected to increase later in the day. The newspaper said the Legion Lake Fire was the third-largest fire in modern Black Hills history.

All evacuation orders have been lifted, but Custer State Park remains closed as are the backcountry portions Wind Cave National Park.where the fire swept through the northeastern corner. The fire has consumed more than 73 square miles (190 square kilometers).

They say light snow helped with the fire in the north, but conditions are dry within the perimeter.

A wildfire in South Dakota's Custer State Park that ballooned to more than 50,000 acres in size is 50 percent contained as of Friday morning, fire officials said.

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"When the park opens back up, and you take a drive through wildlife loop where our bison normally eat, it's big grassland down there", said Kobee Stalder, who is the Custer State Park public information officer. Officials are evaluating the fire's effects on park wildlife.

Austin says the blaze didn't expand last night past fire lines, which can be roads or strips where firefighters remove vegetation so there's nothing for the fire to burn.

"I do know the Custer State Park buffalo herd were on the south part of the fire". The official cause of the fire is a downed power line.

There have still been no reported injuries and no residences or main park buildings destroyed, but several outbuildings have been lost with about 2 dozen bridges damaged or threatened. and other infrastructure and watersheds impacted in the two parks.

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