Governor Dave Heineman says he's willing to seek additional state money from the Legislature if needed to help pay for firefighting in drought-parched Nebraska.
Heineman said Wednesday he wouldn't be surprised if more money is required to reimburse local fire departments and other agencies for their expenses.
Wildfires sparked by dry lightning have scorched tens of thousands of acres in central and western Nebraska. State officials say they don't yet know the exact cost, but Nebraska Emergency Management Agency assistant director Al Berndt estimates that the state has spent around $7.5 million so far.
Berndt says his agency started the year with about $10 million available for emergencies. He says state officials will start conducting damage assessments next week to see if Nebraska can qualify for federal aid.