People.com Human Interest Wildfire in South Dakota Shuts Down Mount Rushmore, Prompts Evacuations The Schroeder Fire has so far burned more than 1,900 acres By Rachel DeSantis Rachel DeSantis Instagram Twitter Rachel DeSantis is a writer/reporter covering music at PEOPLE. She has held various roles since joining the brand in 2019, and was previously a member of the human interest team. As a music writer, Rachel interviews everyone from rock-and-roll legends to up-and-coming stars for magazine feature stories and digital news stories. Rachel is based in New York City, and previously worked as an entertainment reporter at the New York Daily News after getting her start as an Entertainment Weekly intern. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 30, 2021 10:50 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Schroeder Fire. Photo: Johnson Siding Volunteer Fire Department/Facebook A wildfire tearing through South Dakota has prompted the evacuations of hundreds of people and the closure of Mt. Rushmore, authorities said. The Schroeder Fire broke out on Monday morning just west of Rapid City, and burned through 1,900 acres by nightfall, incident commander Rob Powell told the Rapid City Journal. At least two homes were destroyed, as were several outbuildings, in the blaze, which Powell said was driven by wind gusts. According to the Johnson Siding Volunteer Fire Department, 81 mph winds were recorded just four miles south of Rapid City on Monday morning. Between 400 and 500 homes were evacuated in the area, according to Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom, and officials said that the evacuation orders would continue into the night, as the fire was still at zero percent containment. RELATED VIDEO: Koala Rescued from Wildfire The National Park Service announced at 2 p.m. local time that Mount Rushmore National Memorial was closed due to the blaze. A Facebook page arranged by officials to share updates on the Schroeder Fire said Tuesday morning that it was active overnight in the Cleghorn Canyon and Nameless Cave areas, and that firefighters put structure protection in place in those areas. Approximately 250 firefighters were on the scene battling the blaze, the Journal reported. Johnson Siding Volunteer Fire Department/Facebook Both Gov. Kristi Noem and Rep. Dusty Johnson headed to Rapid City to assess the damage, and Johnson said on Twitter that FEMA had approved the state's emergency request for help fighting the fire. 'Rare' New Jersey Wildfire Damages Dozens of Homes, Leaves Firefighter Critically Injured "South Dakotans, stay vigilant and keep up with alerts in case your area needs to evacuate while our first responders fight to get this fire under control," he wrote. The Johnson Siding Volunteer Fire Department said no civilian injuries were reported, and the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.