Firefighters Brace for Hot, Dry Weather and Gusty Winds

“Coordination and good communications will be the key to a successful day,” said Incident Commander Mark Hatcher this morning at briefing.
On Monday, the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team B arrived to assist state and local firefighters in three counties to suppress the Fairfield Creek fire in north central Nebraska. Approximately 50,000 acres were mapped by infrared flight as of 6 a.m.  Active burning has been observed on the east and west flanks.   Crews were able to burn out pockets of fuel on the north east corner to reinforce dozer lines.  Firefighters will work on lines in all areas of the fire in anticipation of the dry, hot, windy weather expected today.
The weather outlook for Monday shows hotter weather with dry winds gusting up to 25 miles per hour near the fire area.   A heat advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. on Tuesday and a Red Flag Warning is in effect for winds and low relative humidity.
Four Divisions have been established for managing the fire:
Division C (northwest): Springville Fire District, Keya Paha County
Division E (northeast): Springville Fire District, Keya Paha County
Division H (southeast): Ainsworth Fire District, Brown County
Division A (southwest) Cherry County Fire District
Air Operations: Aircraft will be available as needed.
Road Closures
Road blocks will be in place on Highway 12.  Motorists are asked to find alternate travel routes.
Volunteer evacuations are still in place for Meadville.
Niobrara River is closed for recreational use between County Line and Brewer bridges.
Fire stats at a glance:

  • Start Date: July 20, 2012
  • Containment: none reported
  • Cause: Lightning
  • Acreage: 50,000
  • Personnel: 150
  • Crews: 3 ordered
  • Cooperating Agencies: Brown, Keya Paha and Cherry Counties, State of Nebraska
  • Aviation : (3) Type (1) National Guard Black Hawks, and 1 Type 2
  • Engines: 30
  • Injuries: 3 (minor)
  • Structures destroyed: 10 and associated outbuildings
  • Structures/outbuildings threatened: 70

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