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Flare-up brings more action to UFC elevator

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RUSHMORE -- The Rushmore Fire Department dealt with another flare-up Monday afternoon at the United Farmers Cooperative (UFC) grain elevator in Rushmore, where a June 19 fire destroyed a bin and a dryer.

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"We're just uncovering it and putting water on it," said Brent Petersen of the Rushmore Fire Department.

When a flare-up occurs, the all-volunteer Rushmore Fire Department visits the site and sprays it down with water.

Cleanup efforts continue at the site, where UFC personnel are loading burned corn and debris onto trucks to take it away. Some of the grain is still good, and UFC has managed to save it.

The rest lies in hills around the remains of the structure, and underneath the surface, it is still smoldering. Cleanup efforts expose the embers of the fire to oxygen and cause flares, so firefighters expect flare-ups to continue until all the grain and debris are cleared.

The recurring small fires are accompanied by smoke, and keeping the fires down stirs up long-cooled ashes and the scent of burned grain.

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