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Firefighters extinguish quick-burning grass fire on Mitchell’s west end, no injuries reported

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

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Firefighters in Mitchell work to control a grass fire on the city's west end on Saturday, March 19, 2022.
Hunter Dunteman / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — No injuries were reported Saturday afternoon after a grass fire quickly spread through a field on Mitchell’s west end.

Shortly after 2:45 p.m. Saturday, fire crews were dispatched to the 2400 block of West 23rd Street after a resident reported a grassy field had caught on fire.

As fire crews arrived, the field, dry from a recent lack of precipitation, was burning quickly, consuming bushy trees near the road’s edge. As the fire spread out from the center of the field, which lies on the north side of 23rd Street, it began to climb a power pole, charring the wood.

An unoccupied out-building was consumed by the flames, but firefighters were able to contain the fire to the field to prevent any danger to other surrounding homes.

The fire consumed approximately 2500 square-feet of the field, but was extinguished by firefighters in approximately 90 minutes.

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Firefighters from the Mount Vernon Volunteer Fire Department assisted crews from Mitchell. While traffic was never entirely shut down on the road, officers from the Mitchell Police Division and deputies from the Davison County Sheriff’s Office regulated the flow of vehicles through the area to keep the scene clear for other emergency personnel.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Though the National Weather Service only lists Davison County in a moderate grassland fire danger, Mitchell has only recorded a little under six-tenths of an inch of precipitation since Feb. 1, exacerbating dry conditions from an already dry winter.

Though not dry enough to declare a drought, the U.S. Drought Monitor, a product of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, labels Davison County as abnormally dry, a warning resident should be aware of before deciding to burn.

Dunteman covers general and breaking news as well as crime in the Mitchell Republic's 17-county coverage area. He grew up in Harrisburg, and has lived in South Dakota for over 20 years. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 after earning his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He can be reached at HDunteman@MitchellRepublic.com, or on Twitter @HRDunt.
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