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Jake Valichnac of the Lakeside, Ariz., Fire Department helps mop up the remains of the Myrtle Fire near Pringle on Monday. The Myrtle Fire is one of several sweeping through central and western South Dakota, and has consumed more than 16 square miles of land. (AP Photo/Rapid City Journal, Aaron Rosenblatt)

Myrtle Fire in Black Hills burns historic ranch to ashes

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PRINGLE (AP) -- An historic, 110-year-old ranch has been lost to the Myrtle Fire near Pringle, which has consumed more than 16 square miles of land.

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The blaze in the Black Hills engulfed the Williams Ranch, one of the oldest homesteads still standing in the area.

Black Hills National Forest Archeologist Michael Engelhart tells the media that all 18 structures that made up the ranch burned to the ground.

Englehart says firefighters had tried to protect the home but couldn't.

The media reports that the fire is about 40 percent contained. Rain over the northern two-thirds of the fire helped to slow its spread.

No current homes have been damaged, and Engelhart says firefighters have saved other historic sites.

The Myrtle Fire is one of several sweeping through central and western South Dakota.

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