Firefighters made limited progress Monday against the Carter Canyon Fire, burning since Saturday night in the Wildcat Hills southwest of Gering.
Public Information Officer Ben Bohall says that as of Monday afternoon, the fire was estimated at 15,591 acres, an increase of about 2,500-acres, with containment growing from 30% to 33%.
Bohall says crews, aided by aerial drops, were “about to get around it and hold it to its footprint” yesterday, adding that the wind was not as much of an issue as feared. He says they’re “optimistic” and feel they “have a hold on it right now.”
The number of homes destroyed and damaged remained at 3 and 7, respectively, and there have still been no injuries among either residents or firefighters. Some evacuations remain in effect.
The most recent update was last night at over 13,000-acres and 30% contained with 3 primary residences destroyed, 7 damaged, and a number of ag structures also damaged or destroyed.
Bohall says the number of fire departments and agencies sending crews to the fire is now about 35 with some 200 firefighters from across Nebraska and parts of Wyoming and South Dakota.
Ground crews continue to be assisted by a number of aircraft. There are now 2 Single-Engine Air Tankers, 3 Large Air Tankers, a Nebraska National Guard Blackhawk helicopter, spotter planes, and drones.
Bohall says the big tankers are especially valuable because the rugged terrain makes it impossible to build containment lines in some areas with dry, hot, windy conditions with low humidity posing major problems.
Gering Rural Fire Chief Nathan Flowers told KNEB News Monday morning that he hopes full containment and control can be obtained by Monday, but Bohall said in the afternoon that it could take even longer – depending on the weather and terrain.