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December 17, 2017 08:02 PM

Fighting The Legion Lake Fire

Custer State Park, SD

The Legion Lake fire has burned over 54,000 acres in Custer State Park. Firefighters have been fighting this fire for nearly a week.

"Definitely get a rush out of it, I think that's why, most of us do it, the adrenaline, first couple days you're running and gunning and then after that you go into the hard work where you're really making sure the fire is out, so it's a fun time, we enjoy it," Arlen Gortmaker, Miller Volunteer Fire Department said.

Arlen Gortmaker traveled from Miller, South Dakota to do his part in fighting the Legion Lake Fire.

"We've been basically holding line, doing burnouts, trying to keep the fire in check and moving the line along," Gortmaker said.

He's not the only one, over 300 firefighters have spent time here in Custer State Park over the past week. 

Even though this is the third largest fire in Black Hill history, any fire situation can be dangerous.

 "It can be a stressful situation, but when you have safety and you know your objectives, you think about the job and keeping everyone safe," Moore, Square Boss for Bear Mountain hand crew said.

Yet, as a dangerous job, it's not one these firefighters would stop doing.

"Everybody is watching each other's back, they're always making sure you're in good condition, physically, mentally, and you're all friends here," Gortmaker said.
A lot of crews have been sent home over the last few days as the fire becomes more under control.

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