UPDATE: (Jan. 15, 3:33 p.m.) — The following information was provided by Shane Penfield, PIO for Lemmon Fire Department.
The cause of the fire is unknown.
The fire started northwest of Lemmon at around 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Adams County, North Dakota. It ran 21 miles long, at times was four miles in width, stopping at the Grand River.
As of this afternoon, the fire is 80 percent contained and still estimated at 20,000 acres, however GPS measuring is ongoing.
High winds are still a main driver for the fires, reaching gusts of 30 to 40 mph. Some gusts have peaked at 56 mph.
Nearby residents voluntarily evacuated with 19 farms and ranches being in the general area. No occupied structures were lost but a few outbuildings were severely damaged.
Livestock, horses, fences, and grasses for grazing were lost, and no other injuries reported outside of the two firefighters.
Lemmon Fire, courtesy Hope Klein
On Thursday, the Lemmon FD had responded to a report of a major grass fire northwest of Lemmon in Adams County, North Dakota at 4:33 p.m. At the time of the call, winds at Lemmon Municipal Airport were in excess of 30 to 40 mph, sustained winds, with a high gust of 56 recorded that day.
The fire eventually spread southeast from Adams County, reaching roughly 12 miles south of Lemmon.
According to Lemmon Fire Marshal Shane Penfield, an “ominous orange glow” could be seen from Lemmon during the early hours of the fire. Crews managed to stop the spread late Thursday night, but wind gusts reignited the blaze early Friday morning. Crews were still battling the wildfire as of Friday morning.
Several farms and ranches were evacuated as a precaution. No residential buildings have been reported as lost, but a ranch building experienced extensive damage.
The Perkins County Sheriff’s Office closed off sections of U.S. Highway 12 and Highway 73 in the area, though they have since reopened.
Nearly 20 fire departments have responded to the fire, including Mobridge and Faith, S.D., Bowman and Flasher N.D. and several agencies from surrounding counties.
The firefighters who were injured received medical care at the West River Regional Medical Center in Hettinger, N.D, according to Penfield.
If anybody needs a place to evacuate to, we would be glad to open up the Lemmon Armory for anyone. Shower, sleep, and anything else you may need.
Posted by Lemmon School District 52-4 on Thursday, January 14, 2021
The Lemmon School District has made the Lemmon Armory available to assist those affected by the fire.