Lemmon fire about 80 percent contained

State News

Thursday’s high winds caused a lot more damage than bringing trees down or shingles off a roof.

A fire quickly spread across the North Dakota/South Dakota border, with thousands of acres ablaze.

In an event where most chose to evacuate, others chose to stay behind.

Greg Tomac, who works on Lutz Ranch with his brother, says he’s never seen a fire quite like this.

“There were firenados like 25-30 feet tall and they just followed the fireline,” he said. “It was moving. That stuff was just moving. Firetrucks couldn’t hardly drive fast enough across the prairie to catch up with it. It was crazy.”

Lutz Ranch has over 2,000 acres, and much of it is burned. Luckily, no livestock was harmed or major structures burned down.

The fire started Thursday evening and continued throughout the day Friday.

Officials are saying as many as 20,000 acres were affected in Lemmon and the surrounding areas.

Fire departments and first responders traveled as far as 100 miles to put out the blaze.

“When you have resources coming from as far away as we did, and the numbers that we had, it was a huge management task to make sure we had staging areas set up here in Lemmon and at Shade Hill, which is 12 miles south of town,” said Lemmon Fire Marshall, Shane Penfield. “So that took a great amount of effort and organization “

The last official report as of Friday afternoon is that the fire is 80 percent contained.

West River Veterinary Clinic is taking hay donations for ranchers who’ve been affected.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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