The strong winds created by a cold front challenged firefighters in Nebraska on Wednesday. At least 58,000 acres burned in numerous fires across the state, according to Jodie Fawl, Public Information Officer for the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency. The fires in Boone, Cherry, Fillmore, Holt, Knox, Merrick and Nance counties brought the total fire acreage across the state to about 300,000 acres for this fire season.
The largest fire was in Cherry County. It started in South Dakota and burned a path approximately 15 miles long and five-miles wide. The fire burned 3,000 acres in South Dakota before entering Nebraska north of Kilgore. The number of acres burned in Nebraska is undetermined. On Wednesday 25 mutual aid fire departments fought the fire near Crookston, Nebraska which was evacuated Wednesday.
Other fires in Nebraska, listed by county, with information current as of 1 p.m. CT, October 18, 2012:
Holt -The Stuart fire is mostly contained, and crews are on-scene working hot spots. An estimated 600 acres burned including several outbuilding. A mile of trees west of Stuart was still on fire, and not contained.
Knox – A fire south of Center started this morning but is now fairly well contained thanks to the 11 responding fire departments. Approximately 200 to 300 acres were affected.
Boone, Merrick, Nance – Cedar Rapids fire remains at 100 percent contained on 500 acres. St. Edward is 100 percent contained on an estimated 160 acres. Genoa is contained in a canyon but is still active with dry timber surrounding the rim of the canyon. The fire is 50 percent out with 80 acres affected. The hay bales near Palmer are 95 to 100 percent out and did not spread beyond the feed lot.
Filmore– Approximately 75 percent contained. Nine fire departments are on scene.