SD firefighter landowner has theory about large wildfire cause

South Dakota News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A former wildland firefighter who owns the land where a burn pile ignited a large wildfire near Rapid City says he believe the blaze was intentionally set.

The landowner told investigators he was “100% sure the burn pile fire was completely out.” The landowner says he’s experienced two suspicious fires since buying the property in 2018.

The Schroeder Fire broke out the morning of March 29 and burned about 3.5 square miles destroyed several structures and caused hundreds to evacuate.

Investigator Todd Hedglin says all evidence points to the fire caused by the debris pile that wasn’t completely put out with strong winds fueling the blaze, the Rapid City Journal reported.

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