Fire Near Halsey 55% Contained With No Growth; Resources Being Released – UPDATED

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      The Sunday morning update on the 201 East Fire, ignited Wednesday by lightning on the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey, lists it at 4,192 acres – the same as a day earlier – and 55% contained. 

     Bessey District Ranger Julie Bain says crews today will continue to strengthen and reinforce containment lines by putting out hot and smoldering material along the perimeter. 

     They’ll also continue to remove hazardous burned trees along roads, trails, and ATV routes to make it safer for the public when the Bessey Ranger District does reopen.

    Firefighting resources no longer needed on the 201 East Fire are being released, but with aggressive patrolling planned for the next several days to guard against quick rekindles.

     Smoke will remain visible from the interior of the fire, which is being allowed to burn out on its own. 

     Bain said the Bessey Ranger District, including all roads and trails, remains closed for the safety of firefighters and the public, but with another assessment today. She still doesn’t know if it will be open for Memorial Day weekend.

ORIGINAL STORY

     The 201 East Fire, ignited by lightning on the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey, is now listed at 50% contained at 4,192 acres but officials say things are even better than that.

      Bessey District Ranger Julie Bain said at the Saturday morning briefing the size estimate grew by less than 100 acres yesterday and that all the growth was the result of better mapping and one small burn-out.

      The situation has improved so much that demobilization has begun with some resources being transferred to other fires or being sent home, but with aggressive patrolling planned for the next several days to guard against quick rekindles.

       Bain said the Bessey Ranger District, including all roads and trails, remains closed for the safety of firefighters and the public – adding that she doesn’t know if it will be open for Memorial Day weekend.

Bain says current plans call for letting the interior of the fire burn out on its own with the focus on the first 50-to-100 feet inside the established perimeter, putting out hot spots and to strengthen containment lines. 

    Work also includes continued removal of hazardous burned trees along roads, trails, and ATV routes to make it safer for the public when the Bessey Ranger District does reopen.

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