Update: Firefighters Contain Several Grass Fires in SE Nebraska

By: 10/11 News Team / KNCY Radio Email
By: 10/11 News Team / KNCY Radio Email
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Firefighters battled several grass fires near Dunbar, Branched Oak Lake and Ashland.

Otoe County Emergency Management told 10/11 News that seven crews fought fires in the Dunbar and Palmyra areas. As of Sunday evening at 6:30, the fire were contained.

One home was evacuated, but the family has since been allowed to return home.

KNCY Radio and 10/11 News have crews in that area finding more details. KNCY Radio reports the fire near Dunbar crossed two county roads.

Earlier Sunday afternoon, crews in Saunders County fought a grass fire northwest of Ashland. The Saunders County Sheriff's Department says State Troopers shut down County Road A, from County Road 8 to 10. Those roads were reopened about 7 p.m.

A total of 17 agencies were called to help contain the Saunders County fire. This included Bennington Fire Department as the most distant to the fire. The fire is believed to have started when embers escaped a burn barrel.

Near Branched Oak State Recreation Area, Raymond Fire Asst. Chief Shane Cuttler said a very fast moving grass fire burned between 500 to 1000 acres of land near Branched Oak State Recreation Area. Fire crews tell 10/11 News that fire was caused by discarded smoking material.

Two fire fighters were treated for injuries suffered while battling the fire, he did not elaborate on what those injuries were or the firefighters condition.

Nineteen agencies including fire departments and law enforcement responded to the grass fire in northwest Lancaster County.

Cuttler told 10/11 News the biggest problem is people who kept driving toward the smoke, causing crews response time to get to the fire to take longer.

Most roads in the area do not have much shoulder for cars to park on. Emergency vehicles had to navigate around several vehicles parked in the roadway, some, parked in such dense smoke they were hard to see.

Sheriff's deputies and NSP closed roads and escorted cars out of the fire area because of the hazards they created for firefighters.

The Nebraska State Patrol evacuated several houses which were threatened by the fire, those families have since been allowed to return to their homes.

Cuttler said the fire did damage a carport/shed of house, but there are no other reports of damage at this time.

High winds fueled many of these grass fires making it hard for firefighters to contain them.


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