Firefighters have contained nearly three-quarters of a wildfire that has scorched more than 120 square miles in northwest Nebraska and neighboring South Dakota.
An incident report posted Monday night says the Wellnitz fire burning north of Rushville, Neb., is 74 percent contained. That figure was 27 percent early Monday, when officials said firefighters were making good progress in extending their lines and removing hot spots that might burst out.
Three fires in the two-state area have blackened nearly 260 square miles.
Firefighter spokesman Neal Kephart said Monday that the Douthit fire was 99 percent contained and the West Ash fire was 55 percent contained. He says some firefighters who have battled the wildfires for nearly a week are being sent home.
As residents return home after the Complex 23 Fire evacuations they may find their homes and lawns have been impacted by fire retardant, an important tool in fighting fire.
Fire retardants are used in fighting the wildfires and are primarily water-based and have U.S. Forest Service approval.
U.S. Forest Service offers advice to those who may need to clean their homes.
· Dry retardant may require some scrubbing with water or power washing. A mild soap may also be used to help remove the retardant. Allow the surface to dry fully and repeat as needed to ensure that play structures and surfacing is free of retardant.
· Once washed off, allow a few days for sunlight to help break down the remaining chemical compounds and allow the fire retardant to be absorbed into the ground.