Fire In Wildcat Hills Grows To Estimated 2,500 Acres


      The Buffalo Creek, burning since late Sunday morning in the Buffalo Creek Wildlife Management Area southwest of Gering in the Wildcat Hills continues to burn mostly unchecked.

      The fire was listed at about 500-acres Sunday night, tripled to 1,500 overnight, and continued to grow to roughly 2,500-acres with 15% containment at 12:30 Monday afternoon. 

       Geing Fire Chief and Co-Incident Commander Nathan Flowers says energy and agricultural infrastructure were threatened along with 2 homesteads with multiple structures, no loss of structure has been reported.

      Morel manpower and equipment arrived yesterday from multiple local, state, and federal agencies, including 2 Nebraska National Guard helicopters targeted at hot spots. A pair of single-engine aerial tankers continued to make frequent drops/

     NEMA, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, sent a Wildland Incident Response and Assistance team yesterday while Preparedness and Operations Manager Earl Imler arrived to help coordinating efforts for state help

     Chief Flowers says the Buffalo Creek Fire is burning mostly in rugged, inaccessible terrain in the Wildcat Hills with strong winds further hampering containment efforts.

      Flowers says mechanical containment lines are being created with firefighters prepping some areas for burnouts to strengthen the lines – if the winds allow. 

      The cause of the fire remains undetermined and crews are protecting structures along Wrights Gap Road, which is closed.

      Nebraska Game and Parks says the wildlife management area had a large number of hunters on hand when the fire was reported, but all were safely evacuated and the area closed to the public.