SW Nebraska Fire 47% Contained At 41,488 Acres


     The Road 702 Fire, which began Friday afternoon less than 20 miles east of McCook in southwest Nebraska, remained at 47% contained this morning but the size has been adjusted again. 

     It was listed at 50,000 acres Sunday morning, dropped to 41,500 acres Monday morning after aerial mapping, increased to 42,425 that night for an area missed in mapping, then trimmed to 41,448 acres this morning because of an overlap.

    Incident commander Dan Dallas says “great progress” was made yesterday with strong containment in sections on all sides of the fire and containment expected shortly in the area south of the Kansas state line.

     On the east side, where the fire had pushed out and created fingers of unsecured fire edge, both direct and indirect lines are being constructed to control the fingers and lessen the risk of fire escaping the main containment lines. 

      Dallas says the potential of spread beyond the currently inactive edges of the fire remains very high with the National Weather Service issuing a Red Flag Warning for near-critical fire weather conditions into the evening. 

      His biggest concern is that winds gusting 30-40 mph during the day and 20-30 mph tonight could cause flare ups and send embers beyond lines to ignite spot fires. 

     The plan for today is for the 159 personnel currently working the Road 702 Fire to continue to reinforce established control lines, mop up in areas of light fuels, and secure timbered areas to reduce the spread of the fire.

       Dallas says personnel will also be assessing damage to infrastructure and private property. At least 6 homes have been destroyed so far.