Lightning from a storm earlier this week is believed to be responsible for a wildfire that has burned about 4 acres of federal land east of Crawford in the East Ash Creek area.
Crawford Fire Chief Brian Prosser says the Fur Fire was encircled with a bulldozer line last night about 11:00 with firefighters from his department and the U-S Forest Service remaining on scene overnight before being joined by more resources this morning.
Smoke from the fire was spotted about 4:00 by the Crawford Rescue Unit as it returned from a call.
Units from Crawford and the Forest Service made the initial response with 2 SEAT, single-engine air tanker, planes making 6 drops on the fire
3 rural trucks from Chadron joined in on a mutual aid call, the Dawes County Roads Department provided a bulldozer, and adjacent ranchers provided access to firefighters and assisted in the effort..
Chief Prosser says the fire is in an area with a lot of old dead timber, so after the dozer line was established, some of the firefighters worked until 11:00 pm moving some of that timber into piles to reduce the risk of the blaze spreading quickly.
Prosser says he wants to thank each and everyone who’s been working on the Fur Fire, including the ranchers, his own volunteers and the firefighters from the Chadron department and the Forest Service..
He says their teamwork has been invaluable as has the support of community members who’ve stepped up with meals and donations – efforts he thinks are too often overlooked.
Chadron Fire Chief Brandon Martens warned after a large number of lightning strikes Tuesday night that many of them could ignite fuel that would smolder for several days before bursting out – which is apparently what happened on the Fur Fire.
Martens says spotter flights the past two days failed to show any sign of fire in the East Ash Creek area, so there’s the possibility other potential fires remain.