At about 1:00pm Central Time, Kilgore Fire Department was paged to the report of smoke in McCann Canyon area in north central Cherry County. Kilgore requested mutual aid from Cody and then Valentine about 1:30 CT. Wood Lake department was called in shortly after that. Departments responded with grass rigs and tankers. Numerous volunteers with grass fire rigs and larger tankers also responded. Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Thedford also have been assisting in the fire. Officials were also trying to arrange air support.
At 3PM CT, the Kilgore Elementary School was evacuated as a precaution. At 4PM The Cherry County Sheriffs office closed US Highway 20 to both east and west traffic between Crookston and Kilgore. The highway has since be reopened. By about 5pm, the community of Kilgore was also evacuated. Most went to Cody. Resident were allowed back in Kilgore later in the evening.
No exact cause has been determined for the fire which reportedly burned an estimated 7,000 acres. More will be known this morning after daylight. Crews remained on the scene overnight but some mutual aid trucks were released late last evening.
Area citizens donated water, gator aide and food supplies to help feed the fire fighters during the evening and overnight.,
The fire was moved along by 20 to 40 mile per hour winds. Temperatures hit record high of 91 and humidity was only 8 to 9%.
High Temperatures on Wednesday are expected to be around 90 again. A red flag warning for fire danger will be in effect again Wednesday.