- Associated Press - Monday, January 4, 2016

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Department of Agriculture says that for the second year in a row in 2015, most of the state’s fire activity was not in the Black Hills.

The department’s Agriculture Wildland Fire Division says extremely dry conditions got the season started early in 2015, but it slowed as wetter conditions persevered.

The state’s largest fire for the season was the nearly 14,000-acre Sheep Draw fire in Harding County in late March. Rounding out the second and third spots are two April fires: the escaped Cold Brook prescribed burn in Wind Cave National Park, which involved 5,400 acres, and a 5,100-acre fire near Gettysburg.

The largest forest fire in the Black Hills was the 58-acre North Pole fire in March, ignited by slash pile debris burning.

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