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Wildfire burning at Nebraska National Forest near Halsey

Several agencies and fire departments are on scene battling a wildfire at the Nebraska National...
Several agencies and fire departments are on scene battling a wildfire at the Nebraska National Forest Near Halsey.(Julie Bain)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 10:14 PM CDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 11:52 AM CDT
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HALSEY, Neb. (KNOP) - Several agencies and fire departments are fighting fires in the Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Whitetail Fire has burned eight acres and is contained but not entirely secure. The 201 East Fire has burned 100 acres and is partially contained but still burning.

Wildfire in the Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest.
Wildfire in the Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest.(Nebraska National Forest & Grasslands)

District Ranger Julie Bain said Wednesday will be a key day and expect to make good progress. However, they are remaining cautiously optimistic due to Thursday’s red flag warnings.

Structures and private property are not at risk at this time. The Whitetail Campground and the ATV trails are closed.

District Ranger Julie Bain said five fires were started in the forest by lightning strikes at around 9 p.m. Monday. Crews were able to put out the fires. However, two of the fires re-ignited Tuesday afternoon. One is now under control, the other is still burning.

Bain said although the area recently received three inches of rain, it hasn’t been enough to recover from the ongoing dry conditions.

Forest officials say the smell of smoke could make its way into the area.

Bain thanked local businesses for providing food and lodging for the firefighters.

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