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Highlands Fire 40 Percent Contained

July 2, 2012, 9:03 PM by Lindsey Branwall

Highlands Fire 40 Percent Contained
CUSTER, SD -

The Highlands Fire west of Custer is 40 percent contained, and firefighters are working to make sure that percentage only goes up.

“The initial attack crews just did an outstanding job of getting in on this fire and doing what they can to get it stopped,” Incident Commander Ray Bubb said.

Crews have already moved out bulldozers but residents are waiting to get back in.

Since leaving his neighborhood Sunday afternoon, Wayne Boots doesn't know when he'll be allowed back home.

“We found out there was a fire in the area but we didn’t know where it was until we couldn’t get in last night,” Boots said.

Burning 150 acres, the fire put 50 to 60 structures in danger and four of them have burned down.

“It’s a sad thing for these families but it happens when a fire gets moving that fast,” Bubb said.

The aftermath shows a barren landscape. For one house the only thing left is a chimney.

Authorities told Boots his wasn’t among the homes lost but that doesn’t erase any worries.

“We certainly are concerned for those other people,” Boots said.

Crews are working to ensure the area is safe before allowing residents to move back in. In the meantime, Boots will have to find something to do.

“We’re gonna wait. That’s all you can do,” Boots said.

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