ROCKERVILLE, S.D. – A blaze fanned by high wind leaped a highway in two places in the Black Hills near Mount Rushmore, forcing residents to evacuate some scattered homes.
Three homes had been destroyed since the fire started Friday evening, and Gov. Bill Janklow said it seemed inevitable that more would be lost. It had burned across 10,000 acres by Tuesday morning.
``I don't know where it's going. We didn't think it would go here,'' Janklow said Monday as he watched the fire along both sides of U.S. 16, which leads from Rapid City to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, just four miles south of the wildfire.
During the night, the fire headed in the direction of Sheridan Lake, a heavily wooded area containing homes scattered deep in the rugged hills.
Fire officials said Tuesday morning that they hadn't determined if any more houses or other buildings were destroyed during the night.
About 200 people had been evacuated, National Guard Maj. Mark Johnston said Tuesday. The fire was estimated at 40 percent contained.
Among those forced from their home were Hank and Nancy Jondahl, who live about 4 miles east of Keystone. They spent Monday working as volunteers at the fire camp north of Rockerville.
``We figured if the firefighters saved our house, we could at least hand out water here and help wherever we can,'' Nancy Jondahl said.
Elsewhere, the Biscuit fire in southwestern Oregon and northern California had grown to more than 448,800 acres — two-thirds the size of Rhode Island. The 3-week-old fire was 40 percent contained, with 92 miles of fire lines left to complete.
On Monday, crews completed five miles of lines to keep the blaze out of a section of the Rogue River used for whitewater rafting. In Curry County, Ore., officials eased an evacuation order for an area outside Agness, but residents remained on notice to be ready to leave again if conditions worsen.
The fire in the Siskiyou National Forest is so big that it is being fought in four zones, and the cost has risen to $80 million, with 6,075 people, 250 fire engines and 42 helicopters involved.