Drought and Wind Fans Flames in Holt County

By: Erin Myers Email
By: Erin Myers Email

A few miles west of Stuart, officials say nearly 600 acres of burnt land is what's left after a fire broke out Wednesday afternoon.
Stuart Fire Department Chief Scott Bouska says the combination of power lines and high winds was likely the cause.

"About 2:30, it looks like there was a possible power line incident. It started right in that area and there's nothing else really out there," said Bouska.

Four people near the scene were treated by medics for smoke inhalation and irritation, but nothing critical.
Three residential properties were evacuated as a precaution but the fire never reached the homes, although it got close.

Only a few small out buildings and sheds burned down. Authorities are not sure about the total cost of damages.

Many Stuart residents say they were worried about a fire so close.

Jessica Wieland first heard the news over the radio.
"I was concerned about houses that were outside of town, concerned for those people out there. I was hoping their homes were okay," said Wieland.

Jon Schmaderer is also a resident of Stuart.
"We understand there's been no major injuries at this point and the fire is mostly under control, but that's the first thing that goes through your mind. There are a lot of families in that area and you're just hoping that everyone had fair warning and were able to get to safety," said Schmaderer.

Stuart Fire Officials say crews will remain on the scene until all of the hot spots have been extinguished.

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