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Thune requests federal aid for ranchers affected by SD fire

RAPID CITY (AP) -- U.S. Sen. John Thune is requesting federal disaster aid for ranchers affected by a large prairie fire in western South Dakota. Thune wrote to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday, asking for immediate aid to ranche...

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Sen. John Thune shares a laugh with member of the Scotland Rotary Club Dick Behl during a stop on Thursday at the Recreation Bar in Scotland in July. (Matt Gade/Republic)

RAPID CITY (AP) - U.S. Sen. John Thune is requesting federal disaster aid for ranchers affected by a large prairie fire in western South Dakota.

Thune wrote to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday, asking for immediate aid to ranchers affected by the Cottonwood Fire. Thune notes that many of the ranchers were hit by a winter storm three years ago.

The fire started Sunday afternoon east of Wall and has burned 48 square miles. Authorities say the blaze was human-caused.

Numerous rural buildings were burned, though no homes. Smoke from the fire cut visibility on Interstate 90 and contributed to at least two crashes. No one was hurt.

About 300 firefighters from 10 western counties fought the blaze at its peak.

Related Topics: JOHN THUNEFIRES
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