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September 19, 2012 04:59 PM

Firefighters Protect Homes From Grassfire

harrisburg, sd

Some Lincoln County homeowners found themselves in the line of a fast-moving fire.

At 2 p.m. Wednesday, the smoke was so intense between Sioux Falls and Harrisburg, it could be seen for several miles and even across state lines.  With a red flag warning in effect, firefighters had a big job on their hands.

It started near the railroad tracks that cross County Highway 106 just north of Harrisburg.  From there, the flames quickly spread.

"It got into the corn field, an unpicked cornfield and basically once we got on it, we figured out that we just couldn't handle it.  So we pretty much let it run across the field, trying to save these structures," Assistant Harrisburg Fire Chief Dan Fink said.

It came within 100 to 200 feet of homes, but Fink says crews made sure the structures were never in danger.

"The homeowners, some of them are working their own homes, putting sprinklers on. But we've got pretty good structure protection going right now," Fink said.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, it had burned around 160 acres and was 75 percent contained.  But with 25 mile-per-hour winds gusting up to 36, crews know that anything could happen.

"We're under red flag warning right at the moment so anytime that happens, it makes for a bad day," Fink said.

Crews from several communities responded.  There is no word on a cause.

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