- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Wildland fire crews are planning to continue a prescribed burn in Custer State Park on Thursday.

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Wildland Fire Division, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and Custer State Park plan on burning about 800 acres in the park’s southeast corner near the Wildlife Visitor Station.

Firefighters successfully completed 395 acres of Unit 1 in the Swint Well prescribed fire area and 595 acres in the South Fork area on Tuesday.

Officials say prescribed fire helps maintain healthy native vegetation and is needed to prevent the encroachment of invasive species. Fire also reduces the hazardous buildup of debris and dead vegetation, which can fuel wildfires.

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