Wellnitz Fire contained

Apologies to the fire crews from Purdum and Halsey Fire Departments who were missed in earlier acknowledgements.  A well-deserved “Thanks” is extended to all of the departments and individuals who have participated in this incident.
The Wellnitz Fire has been contained; however fire crews are continuing to patrol the area around the fire perimeter.
Although often mistaken as a National Fire Team, the Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team (RMAIMT) is an interagency regional team that responds to fires at the request of the State of Nebraska or other jurisdictions within the Rocky Mountain Area.  Their purpose is to provide additional resources not available locally.  They work in cooperation with State and Local Agencies and return control of the incident to local jurisdictions as soon as possible.  This fire has officially been released back to State and Local Agencies.
The communities and local individuals whose property has been impacted by the fire are in the beginning stages of the long process of recovery.  One of the key questions asked is, “What do I do now?”
There are fire losses in two categories with the Wellnitz Fire and they include: agricultural losses and non-agricultural losses.
The Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) in Rushville is asking individuals within the fire zone to contact them with agricultural damages to assist in determining assessment needs related to the Wellnitz Fire.
Items which need to be addressed with NRCS are:
·         Field Windbreaks that were damaged
·         Were field windbreaks covered by cost share?
·         Acres of Pasture/Grass lost
·         Livestock lost
·         Livestock water facilities lost/impacted
·         Specifically identified erosion issues
·         Possible reseeding of fire lines
The NRCS can be contacted by phone at 308-327-2489, or by visiting their local office on the east side of Main Street in Rushville. Please note that fire damaged buildings will not be included in information requested by NRCS.
As previously noted, this is not a federal fire; however, the following 10 point checklist from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s United States Fire Administration serves as a quick reference guide for fire recovery that is detailed to assist with non-agricultural losses.
Contact your local disaster relief service, such as the Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies. If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.
Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site. DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items. Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.
Try to locate valuable documents and records. Refer to information on contacts and the replacement process inside this brochure.
If you leave your home, contact the local police department to let them know the site will be unoccupied.
Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
Notify your mortgage company of the fire.
Check with an accountant or the Internal Revenue Service about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss.
Information detailing specific information on fire recovery may be found on the web at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/atf/.

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