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July 25, 2012 06:03 PM

Residents Near Longhorn Complex Return Home

spring creek, sd

A fire on the Rosebud Indian Reservation is now 70 percent contained and evacuated residents are going home.

Hard work and better weather conditions are paying off for firefighters.

There's now a fire line around the entire blaze, which encompasses nearly 75 square miles.

"What we're going to do is reinforce the lines that we've got in place and hopefully look at containing this thing," Incident Commander Joe Lowe said.

At noon, fire officials held a meeting with evacuated residents, many of whom had been staying at the St. Francis Indian School since Saturday. Their message there was prepare to go home.

"We've been waiting for this news. This is day five for us, so we're just happy to get home," Spring Creek community chairperson Donna Hollow Bear Horn said.

"We get to go home! We get to go home, and that's the best feeling that you can feel," Spring Creek resident Berlene Walking Eagle said.

The evacuee's excitement is something that the Lowe can relate to.

"My family was in a shelter during the East Ridge fire in the Black Hills of South Dakota and you're always nervous and you want to go home," Lowe said.

The best part is that everybody who was evacuated still has a place to go home to. Not one home was lost to the fire.

"And we really thank the firefighters so much. We really thank them from the bottom of our hearts," Walking Eagle said.

"We've got a lot of thank you's to do," Hollow Horn Bear said.

Around 50 homes were evacuated around the village of Spring Creek. Residents were able to go home Wednesday afternoon.

Click on the map below for a better look at where the Longhorn Complex Fires are burning.
Source: Forest Service Active Fire Maps

 

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