Firefighters on track to contain fires in north-central Nebraska. Panhandle fire is now 100% contained.
Despite a fire line break, a Nebraska official says firefighters are still on track to completely contain three wildfires that have blackened more than 117 square miles of north-central Nebraska.
Nebraska Emergency Management Agency spokesman Mike Wight said Friday the total area burned expanded by nearly four acres late Thursday and overnight. Wight says containment averages 70 percent over the three blazes, with 97 percent containment of the biggest, the Fairfield Creek fire. He says complete containment is still expected by Sunday.
Officials say the largest of the fires being fought in northwest Nebraska in the Panhandle has been 100 percent contained.
Cyd Janssen with the U.S. Forest Service says that GPS readings showed the Ash Creek fire blackened a little more than 3 square miles. The fire started with lightning Saturday and burned mostly on federal recreation area land south of U.S. Highway 20 between Chadron and Crawford.
Another fire is burning about 10 miles south of Crawford in Dawes County, blackening less than a square mile of private land. Crawford Fire Chief Brian Prosser estimated late Thursday that the Steineke fire was about 60 percent contained.
Janssen says firefighters are concerned about flare-ups later Friday because wind gusts to 40 mph are expected.
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