- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

PHILIP, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and a charity in Philip are working together to help ranch families hurt by the devastating Cottonwood Fire west of Phillip in October.

The human-caused prairie fire burned 64 square miles of grassland, killed nearly 300 cattle and destroyed numerous rural buildings. No one was hurt.

KCCR radio reports that Philip Charities will be sending out $125,000 this week to help ranchers in need. Stockgrowers Executive Director Silvia Christen says disbursements will be based on criteria including fence and grazing losses.

Christen says people who want to donate hay should contact the rancher association. Philip Charities will accept donations up until Friday.

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