The Bovee Fire, burning since early Sunday afternoon in the Sandhills north of Halsey, is now 96% contained as crews continue to take advantage of favorable weather conditions.
Incident Commander Dan Dallas says more accurate mapping had jumped the fire size from 15,000 to 18,932-acres Tuesday, but more mapping shrank it slightly Wednesday to 18,861 acres. He expects full containment today.
. There were 227 personnel on the Bovee Fire, but Dallas expects to start reducing that number today as work continues to shift from building fireflines to reinforcing existing lines, mop-up, patrol, and hazard mitigation.
Crews protecting structures will remain in place to complete damage assessments and finish hazard mitigation around structures in the fire area. The night shift will continue patrolling to ensure structures and firelines are secure.
Dallas says firelines are essentially complete on the western side of the fire south of Hwy 2 with crews spending today widening and strengthening those lines.
Some personnel have begun removing hazards along roads and trails by felling burned trees and removing downed trees and large branches from access corridors. Mop-up is continuing on a few hotspots near Hwy 2 and along Spur 86B.
Dallas says crews on the eastern side of the fire south of Hwy 2 continue to make progress on building direct fireline and should have the line completed by early tomorrow. Once they’re done, they’ll be strengthened with hazards mitigated.
The fire north of Hwy 2 is mainly on private grasslands. Containment line are done with engines and firefighters on UTV’s continuing to patrol the perimeter to make sure the fire’s edge remains secure.
Additional firefighters will work on the few remaining hotspots in shelterbelts on the north end of the fire.
No structures have been lost since the Scott Lookout Tower and the cabins and lodge at the Nebraska State 4-H Camp were destroyed Sunday. There’s been one fatality. 59-year old Purdum VFD assistant chief Mike Moody, died of a medical incident.