YANKTON - The Yankton Fire Department in 2012 had its busiest year in more than a decade.

Deputy Fire Chief Larry Nickels says volunteer firefighters responded to 250 calls, up from 231 the year before and the most since 2000.

The Daily Press & Dakotan newspaper reports that grass fires were a big reason for the high number of calls. Southeastern South Dakota has been mired in "exceptional" drought, the worst drought category on the U.S. Drought Monitor map.

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