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UPDATE: Wind-driven fire near Oahe Dam mostly contained

A plume of smoke towers over the Oahe Dam as crews battle a prairie fire on Jan. 14.
A plume of smoke towers over the Oahe Dam as crews battle a prairie fire on Jan. 14.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 2:35 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Authorities say a large grass fire near the Oahe Dam north of Pierre is now 90% contained.

Hughes County Emergency Manager Rob Fines tells the South Dakota Broadcasting Association the fire so far has burned an estimated 350 acres of crop land and an additional 80 acres of grass.

Fines says no homes or structures were lost.

The same high winds that helped spread the fire also pushed the blaze towards nearby Lake Oahe in an area known as Peoria Flats.

Strong northwest winds gusting past 50 mph drove smoke from the fire into the Capital City and caused visibility issues miles downriver from Oahe Dam.

Fire crews are contending with strong winds as they battle a grass fire in central South Dakota.

The fire broke out Thursday afternoon in the Peoria Flats area, which is just north of the Oahe Dam near Pierre.

The Highway Patrol is asking people to avoid S.D. Highway 1804 to give emergency crews room to work.

Hughes County Eme

rgency Manager Rob Fines says the fire is 90% contained as of 4 pm. Fines say the fire so far has burned an estimated 350 acres of cropland and an additional 80 acres of grass, no structures were damaged.

Strong northwest winds gusting past 50 mph drove smoke from the fire into the Capital City and caused visibility issues miles downriver from Oahe Dam.

The high winds made battling the fire difficult for fire crews. A winter storm system is moving across the area, however, no precipitation is expected to fall in the Pierre area, which has seen drier than normal conditions lately.

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