Long stacks of round hay bales across the countryside smolder in the aftermath of the Cottonwood Fire.

Neighbors fight, survive Cottonwood Fire

    Horizon to horizon is scorched earth. Stench hangs in the air for miles. Long mounds of smoking ash used to be stored-up hay. Outbuildings  are charred stubs of walls clawing up from black fields. Hanging from barbed wire between metal posts are wooden posts, their bottom thirds burned away. Cattle carcasses lie in groups, most burned to death but many put out of their misery.
    The Cottonwood Fire was called in shortly before 1:00 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16. The Philip fire whistle sounded at 1:15 p.m. At 2:00 p.m. the whistle blew again, calling for more volunteers to replace the first wave of already exhausted firefighters.

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The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
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