The Buffalo Creek Fire, burning since late Sunday morning southwest of Gering in the Wildcat Hills, grew by only 35-acres from noon Tuesday to noon Wednesday.
The fire was listed at 2,596-acres and 50% contained on at noon Wednesday with weather conditions favorable for containment to improve significantly through Thursday morning.
Officials say with the continued extraordinary efforts of state and local responders, the fire effort might possibly be cut back to simple monitoring by a local VFD as early as Thursday morning
More units were sent home Wednesday. Unified fire command says 15 agencies were present throughout the day on Tuesday, but only 7 were working by Wednesday afternoon including Banner County, Morrill County, Potter VFD, and Nebraska Game and Parks.
Only 15% of the burned area is private land; the rest is Game and Parks land. There have been no injuries, no structures have been damaged, and no structures are currently threatened.
Nebraska Emergency Management Agency Preparedness and Operations Section Manager Earl Imler, who is coordinating with unified command to provide needed state resources at the fires, says air operations continue as a coordinated effort.
One of 2 Nebraska National Guard helicopters conducted an observation flight over the burn area to identify any potential issues and solidify objectives for Wednesday’s operations.
Nebraska State Patrol drones are using their heat cameras to identify precise locations for water drops from both National Guard choppers to conduct aerial suppression.