- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The state Department of Agriculture says warm, dry and windy weather in the western half of South Dakota is making for dangerous fire conditions.

Officials with the department’s Wildland Fire Division say they expect “very high” fire danger conditions through Friday.

Officials say the primary area to watch on Thursday is from Todd and Mellette counties west through the eastern edge of the Black Hills. Warm, dry and windy weather can combine with dry grass to create fast-moving fires in those areas.

On Friday, the danger will primarily be in northwestern South Dakota where strong northwest winds could carry fire quickly through grasses.

Officials are urging South Dakotans to take care with open fire and equipment in grassy areas through Friday. They’re also urging landowners to curtail any open burning.

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