ROSEBUD, S.D. (AP) — Firefighters in western South Dakota have made some progress with wildfires in the region, but Sunday's low humidity and gusty winds were increasing the fires' intensity, authorities said
"We are seeing some extreme fire behavior," said Joe Lowe, commander of fire crews battling a series of wildfires Sunday, referred to as the Longhorn Complex on the Rosebud reservation.
The wildfire began as four separate fires caused by lightning Thursday night, then merged into two fires Saturday and broke into three on Sunday. Together, the fires covered 18,002 acres, and authorities said the fires were about 25 percent contained.
Jeni Lawver, an information officer for the fire operations, said Sunday that 50 homes have been evacuated. Most of those are in the community of Spring Creek, which is being threatened by a wildfire that is about a quarter-mile away.
Lawver said the combination of gusty, erratic winds, above-average temperatures and low humidity was affecting firefighters' ability to contain the fire.
"That isn't very fire-friendly weather," she said.
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard toured the affected area Sunday and met with firefighters.
"Do your job, work hard, and be safe", he told fire crews.