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SD town still evacuated

BY SUSAN KIM | LEAD, SD | July 4, 2002

Hundreds of people in the town of Lead, SD spent July 4 in shelters.

A 9,000-acre wildfire nearby was 35 percent contained. Some residents in Boulder Park and Vanocker Canyon were also still under evacuation orders. Thousands evacuated from the town of Deadwood were allowed to return.

This fire has been weather-driven, and as a result has at times burned only the ground fuels, killing the standing timber. This has caused a very dangerous fire condition, with re-burning in areas a very high probability.

Conditions over the next several days call for temperatures in the 90s. Dry lighting storms were possible for Thursday. Winds were gusting to 30 mph.

Residents of Deadwood were advised to be ready to evacuate again within 10 minutes when notified. Several homes were destroyed. Though hotels and motels around the historic town have reopened, economic losses are large, and there is little or no scenery left around Deadwood.

The Salvation Army and American Red Cross were meeting people’s immediate needs. Animal rescue teams from the Humane Society of the United States were also on the scene.

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