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Many in south-central Nebraska left dealing with ash and aftermath from large wildfire

Aftermath of South Central Nebraska Wildfire
Published: Apr. 9, 2022 at 10:11 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Homes are damaged, and some even destroyed after a wildfire ripped through Gosper and Furnas counties.

The Nebraska State Fire Marshal said it started with strong winds blowing a dead tree into a power line.

That fire started Thursday around noon.

So far, it’s burned around 30,000 acres, destroying at least eight homes and 48 outbuildings. Now, many are left dealing with ash and aftermath.

“It was so powerful outside,” Tove Reiman of Furnas County said. “The force of the winds that were coming and the fire was just to the north of us, about a mile. It was a very fast-moving fire.”

Reiman evacuated her home, grabbing what she could. One of those items was her mother’s ashes.

She said she sprayed down her house and backyard with water, hoping it would help. When she came back, her home was still standing.

Everywhere else was damaged. She lost her barn, her cornfield and some feeders.

“I feel so grateful,” Reiman said. “Then you feel guilty because so many people lost so much at the same time. I have to keep telling myself to feel grateful. Take it for what it is and accept it.”

Not all of Reiman’s neighbors were as lucky.

Another home nearby was destroyed after the fire swept through. Fortunately, it was evacuated at the time.

About 40 departments responded to the fire and battled the flames over a stretch of about 20 miles.

Governor Ricketts activated the National Guard to help. That included two Blackhawk helicopter crews and a total of 38 aerial and ground firefighting assets.

The fire is technically 0% contained. First responders are still trying to establish a fire line and remove vegetation and burnable fuel in the fire’s path. They hope that’ll stop it from spreading even more.

The evacuation order for Edison in Furnas County was lifted early Friday afternoon.

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