Fire blackens thousands of acres north of North Platte
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) — Crews and vehicles from 14 departments and a crop-dusting plane kept a brush fire from destroying any structures or injuring anyone in western Nebraska’s Lincoln County, authorities said.
The wind-blown flames blackened more than 3.1 square miles (802.9 hectares) north of North Platte in a few hours Sunday. The first report was called in around 3:20 p.m., and officials said the blaze was contained by 6 p.m. Some firefighters remained to handle hot spots but left early Monday morning when rain began to fall.
The crop-duster dropped water to slow the flames’ advance across the dry fields.
“It’s (been) incredibly dry out there, and the grass from last year is still really tall,” North Platte Battalion Chief Jeff Hankla told The North Platte Telegraph. “There was a ton of fuel.”
Investigators found fire’s flashpoint in an open field south of a rural subdivision that which sits east of the U.S. Highway 83-Nebraska Highway 97 junction. But the fire cause has yet to be determined, Hankla said.