Crews Rebuild Custer State Park Fences To Contain Buffalo

CUSTER, S.D. (AP) – Crews are working through cold temperatures to rebuild fences to contain Custer State Park’s iconic buffalo after a historic wildfire burned more than half the park.

The Rapid City Journal reports the fire that started from a downed power line on Dec. 11 burned 16 miles of fence throughout the park. Repair work started before the fire was out.

Fences deter buffalo from roaming onto private and Forest Service property. Crews first repaired some fences inside the park, which allowed it to hold buffalo that winter there.

Mark Hendrix, park resource program manager, estimates roughly 860 buffalo are there.

Crews are taking out burned wooden posts and replacing them with galvanized metal posts. Panels of woven wire are attached to the posts.

Hendrix anticipates rebuilding and repairing the park’s fences will take roughly two years.

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