Crews are currently battling a 500-acre wildfire in the Buffalo Creek Wildlife Management area, about 7 miles southeast of Gering in the rugged Wildcat Hills escarpment. The cause of the fire remains undetermined.
Gering Fire Chief Nathan Flowers told KNEB New that the initial response early Sunday afternoon was made by his department and Banner County Fire with other state and local agencies joining the effort as the day continued.
As of last evening, there were 24 engines and 14 overhead staff on hand. SEATs, single-engine air tankers made repeated drops as the fire burned in rugged terrain while windy conditions led to a rapid spread of flames at times.
Chief Flowers says energy and agricultural infrastructure were at risk along with 2 homesteads with multiple structures. Crews were scheduled to make multiple burnouts overnight with helicopters and other resources expected Monday.
Nebraska Game and Parks believes everyone has been evacuated from the Wildlife Management Area, which had a large number of hunters for the opening weekend of firearm deer season.