After a week of hot, dry, and windy conditions, fire officials say the north-central Nebraska fires are about 50 percent contained. So far over 72,000 acres have burned, but a turn in the weather has crews gain ground.
Multi-agency crews are working to hold and improve the fire lines here at the Wentworth Fire and around the Fairfield Creek and Hall fires.
All of the fire crews gather for a morning briefing about the conditions, safety and strategies for the day.
"With the dry northwest winds and then we'll get that locked up," an incident commander said.
Then they break into their teams and head out to start to tackle their mission.
"There's three fires in our management area right now. All of those, we will have crews and engines working with the aircraft to maintain and improve those lines and make sure that we can get full containment in the next operational period," Susan Ford, a Public Information Officer for the Rocky Mountain 20th Incident Management Team said.
Crews work from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., all coordinating a large scale effort to extinguish these fires.
"What's invaluable to us is the local knowledge. So having our rural fire departments here, working hand in hand with our firefighters from other parts of the country, really give them that local knowledge. What to expect for weatherwise, where the access to roads are," Ford said.
With the fire crews coming near and far to help, the local departments say they're grateful.
"It is totally amazing. Not just the fireman that have been here fighting the fire but it's also all of the outside help we've got coming in," Brad Fiala, Fire Chief for Ainsworth said.
Residents say these fires are a tough blow to their area.
"There's people that lost homes and they've lost land and that's our livelihood here. We're agriculture. Farming and Ranching and it's going to be hard to replace that. Our river is scenic for the canoeing. You are still going to be able to come and canoe, your just not going to see the scenery that we had here," Cammie Waits, an Ainsworth resident said.
Officials say baring any flare ups, they hope to contain the fires by Friday night and monitor on Saturday.
Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup truck on Interstate 5 heading to a camping trip when a bridge before them disappeared in a "big puff of dust."More >>
The trucker was hauling drilling equipment when his load bumped against the steel framework over an Interstate 5 bridge. He looked in his rearview mirror and watched in horror as the span collapsed into the water behind him....More >>
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Kathy Clayton at (712) 239-4100 x209. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.