Betty’s Way Fire Now 82% Contained; Still At 71,000 Acres


      Firefighters continue to make good progress on the 71,000-acre Betty’s Way Fire, burning north of North Platte since Monday morning.

Officials said at 3:00 today that the fire was now 82% contained with just 60 personnel left on what they called “this large and complex wildfire.”

      The weather is getting a lot of the credit for containment reaching 72% yesterday as snow and moisture helped with suppression efforts, although high winds limited the use of some suppression tactics.

       The Betty’s Way Fire resembles a triangle on its side with the narrow end on the west and the wide end on the east. Mild weather with lower winds today allowed crews to aggressively continue suppression efforts with operations focusing on the east area of the fire.

       Heavily timbered areas continue to burn and put off smoke. Fire managers hope to make good progress which should allow minimal staffing through the night and into the weekend

       On the northeast side, designated Division K, hand crews and fire engines are aggressively working in the timber while firefighters on the rest of the east side, Division R, are increasing the depth of the fire line and cooling any hot spots. The rest of the perimeter is being monitored for any potential threats to the containment lines. 

       Fire managers are monitoring fire weather conditions heading toward the weekend and a forecast of potentially increased winds and lower relative humidity – both of which can contribute to the rapid spread of fires. 

    They’re also evaluating primary residences, outbuildings and agriculture/ranch infrastructure to determine the impact.  Earlier reports listed one primary residence as destroyed and another damaged with a number of outbuildings in both categories. Plans are already being drafted for post-fire mitigation efforts.

      Fire officials say pockets of heat and fuels will continue to burn within the perimeter for several days with smoke visible within the fire footprint, but that those pockets don’t pose a threat of the fire escaping.