A busy day on Region 23 Fire Complex

Region 23 Fire Complex has burned 87,555 acres and is 47% contained as of this evening.  Significant progress was made on the Douthit Fire today, while West Ash remains active.
 
The Douthit Fire crews took advantage of yesterday’s temperatures to complete burnout operations to help secure containment lines. Firefighters worked on constructing and strengthening line, and focused mop up around structures and near the fire line, while mitigating risks.
 
The West Ash Fire remained active as firefighters worked on constructing and strengthening fire lines which were tested throughout the day by high erratic winds. Significant indirect efforts to provide extra protection to the city of Chadron were completed, including drops from the DC-10 Very Large Air Tanker, (VLAT) of 36,000 gallons of retardant, and heavy equipment completed lines around each home.
 
Near Crawford, fire officials successfully completed a five-mile burnout operation to help reinforce containment lines.
 
Resources continued to arrive throughout the day, with a reported 658 personnel now dedicated to the Region 23 Complex.  To date, there have been no firefighter injuries.
 
Fire crews anticipate a busy night operational period with changing weather conditions.  A cold front is expected to move in this evening, likely preceded by strong erratic winds and a thunderstorm.  The Incident Management Team prepared by staffing a significantly larger night operation shift.  Crews plan to take advantage of the predicted cooler temperatures and increased relative humidity to make significant progress on containment, and to continue burnout operations.
 
 EVACUATIONS:  Fire and Law Enforcement Officials strive to return evacuees’ home as soon as possible; meanwhile the following evacuations continue mandatory, including:
 
Residents living west of Highway 385, and south of Highway 20, Highway 385 to Hawthorne Road and all areas north of Buttermilk Road to Highway 20; including Country Club Road, Old County Club Road, and Goffena Road.  This also includes Deadhorse Road to Table Road and Flag Butte Road.

Residents living on Highway 385 between Chadron City Dams and Red Cloud Camp area, both the east and west side.

Crawford area residents living from the West Ash Road south on Highway 2 for five miles, across Breakneck Road, east to West Ash Creek Road; including West Ash Creek Road, Squaw Creek Road, Saw Log Road, Horseshoe Road, Breakneck Road, Dyer Road and Crow Butte Road.

The Village of Whitney remains evacuated.

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