Missing burros affected by Legion Lake Fire found

burro Custer State Park

Above: file photo of one of the burros in Custer State Park, September 13, 2017.

(Originally published at 2:30 p.m. MST December 16, 2017)

All of the burros in Custer State Park have been found. During the first few days after the Legion Fire started in Custer State Park the staff had their hands full fighting the fire which ultimately burned over 54,000 acres. The small herd of burros that are beloved by tourists at first could not be found, then about half were located, and today the park announced that all nine of them are alive. The bad news is that all of the burros were injured in the fire. After consultation with a veterinarian, the staff decided to treat them, but “due to the nature of the burn injuries we will not know the outcome of the burros”, the park said in a statement.

Articles on Wildfire Today about the Legion Lake Fire are tagged “Legion Lake Fire”.

The burros are very tame and will come up to a parked car. They have been known to poke their head through open car windows hoping to get a carrot or a Cheeto. A Google image search illustrates this behavior.

In better news, a light layer of snow covers the fire which, the park announced Saturday, is “close to being fully under containment.

Snow Legion Lake Fire
Snow on the Legion Lake Fire, December 16, 2017. Custer State Park photo.
Map Legion Lake Fire
Map of the Legion Lake Fire, December 15, 2017.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

8 thoughts on “Missing burros affected by Legion Lake Fire found”

  1. I’ll pray for the Burros, the caretakers & firefighters! God bless all of you.
    JJ flew 4y air tanker in late 70’s

  2. Good that the burro is looking at the I.A.P. for the day shift. Also there should be names of burro’s assigned to what division. Hope all are accounted for. It looks like this fire was well managed and the plan worked as expected. Snow, that should do it for South Dakota fire season 2017? Excellent coverage by Wildfire Today, thought I was there.

  3. Burros are cool. Back in 1950 a neighbor had a burro named Denny that he rode to school sometimes to Hayward, S. Dak. school. I was eleven and sometimes poor Denny packed Kenny, sister Caroline , and me at the same time. A one room school, Kenny was in the eighth grade and Caroline and I were in the fifth. Jack Slawik

  4. I remember the burros. I worked for the Blankenship’s just outside the NE gate. The burros were a menace. That was the summer of 04, not muchc happened that year. He had a lightning strike snag just inside the park, and the govt fields fire near Hayward south of highway 40. Hoping to get my kids to CSP in the next couple years.

  5. Thank you for the reporting Bill. There is a dearth of local news on this fire! Appreciate your more detailed reporting!

  6. Thanks for the excellent updates, Bill. Many of us have loved the Hills for years even as we’ve moved to distant places. I recall my dad’s work in the Park as a timber-sale marker in the 1950’s and my own 3 summers at Legion Lake in the early ’60s. Keep up the fine reporting. Tim

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