20 years ago, the Jasper Fire spread through the Black Hills

RAPID CITY, S.D. — 20 years ago Monday, the largest fire on record to scorch the Black Hills started by an arsonist who dropped a single match in the dry forest.

The Jasper Fire burned over 80,000 acres and caused damage to a significant portion of the Black Hills on its western slope, west of Custer.

Smoke plumes were seen for miles as residents throughout the hills evacuated their homes.

Pennington County Fire Administrator, Jerome Harvey, was on scene in 2000 and says it’s interesting to see similar drought conditions 20 years ago to the date.

“It’s a reminder that taking events like that and using them as triggers to remind yourself of those things and take the time to put those plans in place,” said Harvey. “Take the time to fire-wise your property and make sure you yourself are ready to go and respond in that type of emergency.”

Incredibly, no one was killed during the massive fire.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News

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