Tom Stromme/Bismarck Tribune via AP
In this Oct. 11, 2015 photo, embers fly off a burning tree trunk as wind gusts of over 30 miles per hour continue on the edge of the town of Cannon Ball, N.D. Grass fires fanned by strong winds in the Dakotas destroyed homes, shut down highways and prompted the evacuation of a small town on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation at the weekend, and the gusty weather was forecast to continue Monday. The fires were contained Sunday and no injuries.

Three Standing Rock Reservation Fires Quelled But Burn 7,500 Acres


A total of 7,500 acres has been scorched by fire on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, but two have been put out and one is 75 percent contained, the incident reporting site Inciweb said on Tuesday.

“There are presently three fires burning on Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota and South Dakota: Cannonball, Zippo, and Oak Creek,” Inciweb said in an overview statement. Cannonball was the largest, at 5,000 acres, while the Zippo and Oak Creek fires burned 1,500 and 1,000 acres, respectively. The Cannonball and Zippo fires were contained by noon on October 12, while Oak Creek was 75 percent contained as of early October 13.

About 340 people had to be evacuated, and three structures were destroyed, Inciweb said. They have since returned to their homes. No lives were lost. All three fires are still being investigated and are of unknown cause, Inciweb said.

The Associated Press reported that three homes and a church were destroyed in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on Sunday October 11, and that 875 residents had been evacuated from Standing Rock when electrical poles were knocked down. 

They were sent to the Prairie Knights Casino, where about 50 evacuees stayed the night on October 12, the Bismarck Tribune reported. They had returned by Monday. Elsewhere on the reservation, the Red Cross set up a shelter in Porcupine and was going to provide meals.

On Tuesday October 13 the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs put citizens on notice that it was poised to declare a fire emergency and burn ban (including campfires and garbage) if it became warranted. 

The prairie fire burns along Oak Creek near the village of Mahto, S.D. on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. Mahto is near Wakpala and McLaughlin on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. (Photo: Tom Stromme/Bismarck Tribune via AP)

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