Bovee Fire Now 18,932 Acres And 56% Contained

    The Bovee Fire, burning since early Sunday afternoon in the Sandhills north of Halsey, got bigger and more contained yesterday and is now listed as 18,932-acres and 56% contained.

     An aerial infrared mapping flight originally set for Monday was held Tuesday.

Incident Commander Dan Dallas says most of the growth from Monday’s 15,000-acre estimate was because of more accurate mapping and burnouts to strengthen lines.

    Dallas says suppression efforts continue to be aided by cooler, less windy weather and light rainfall. There are 219 personnel on the Bovee Fire, and the current estimated time for full containment is midnight Friday morning.

     No structures have been lost since Sunday when the Bovee Fire destroyed the Scott Lookout Tower and the cabins and lodge at the Nebraska State 4-H Camp.

      Dallas says work will gradually shift over the next few days from building fireflines to reinforcing existing lines, mop-up, patrol, and hazard mitigation.

      Crws 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 nearest to 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 and 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. 

     There’s been one fatality on the fire. 59-year old Mike Moody, assistant chief of the Purdum VFD, died Sunday of a medical incident.

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