Custer State Park burros recovering after Legion Lake fire

(Custer State Park Burros photo by Mailseth - Creative Commons)

(KSFY) - Some of the most beloved animals at Custer State Park are continuing their recovery after surviving the Legion Lake wildfire.

The park's eight remaining burros are becoming more healthy, park officials announced Thursday.

The animals are being kept inside an enclosed and heated facility so the outdoor temperatures do not affect their recovery. They are beginning to eat and drink more consistently, but the park veterinarian said the next two weeks in their recovery will be critical as infection and organ failure can play a factor.

One burro died due to the wildfire, along with an elk and several deer. Many of the surviving burros were injured due to the fire.

Park officials are asking anyone wishing to donate hay or fencing to the park following the fire make their donations through Farm Rescue. The organization will allocate donations to surrounding ranchers and farmers who were affected by the wildfire. Anyone wishing to make donations to the park directly can do so here.

Officials say the Legion Lake fire started on December 11 and was caused by a downed power line. It burned more than 53,000 acres, making it the third largest wildfire in Black Hills history.