Crews were able to get all of the wildfires around Lake McConaughy under control over the weekend, according to the incident commander.
Keystone-Lemoyne Fire Chief Ralph Moul on Monday said the fires, believed to be sparked by lightning on Thursday, were either extinguished or in containment status. The only fire still burning is the Eagle Canyon Fire, north of Brule on the south side of Lake McConaughy. Moul says firefighters were called out numerous times over the weekend to deal with hot spots.
Moul says the fire is fully contained, but still burning. He says some trees in the rugged terrain will continue to burn within a containment zone and should not pose any threat to the public. Moul says he doesn’t anticipate any problems with the fire crossing the containment line.
A number of fires erupted Thursday evening after a thunderstorm moved through the region. An estimated 38 volunteer fire departments, and a number of other volunteers, mobilized to extinguish the fires. Nebraska Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Jodie Fawl told the Associated Press that state officials dispatched two Black Hawk helicopters to help fight the fires, along with 13 National Guard soldiers and three agency staff members.
The fires in Keith, Arthur and McPherson Counties last week burned an estimated 78 square miles. One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion on Thursday. No other injuries, and no structure damage, have been reported.
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(Image courtesy of John Franklin.)