By GRANT SCHULTE
LINCOLN, Nebraska (AP) - A man who was burned in a grass fire in Whiteclay has filed papers to sue local authorities for negligence. Bryan Blue Bird of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, hired a lawyer and sent a tort-claim notice to Sheridan County and the Rushville Fire Department.
The 51-year-old says he was lying in a field March 6 in Whiteclay when flames surrounded him. Authorities ignited the blaze to clear grass and prevent unintentional fires. Blue Bird says they didn't thoroughly check the field, and set the fire on a windy day.
Blue Bird's injuries have increased tension between residents of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and neighboring Whiteclay.
Reservation leaders have sought to limit alcohol sales in Whiteclay, where four stores sell millions of cans of beer annually.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)