Wildcat Hills Fire Blackens Est. 4,000 Acres

Scott Miller/KNEb/RRN

The Hubbard Gap Fire in the Wildcat Hills in Banner County south of McGrew began Thursday and was listed at roughly 4,000 miles by Friday afternoon.

       In addition to threatening and affecting private agricultural lands, early estimates indicate the fire burned about three-fourths of the 1,829-acre Williams Gap Wildlife Management Area.

     According to a release from Jodie Fawl with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, 3 single engine air tankers (SEATs), one out of Chadron and two from South Dakota, flew 13 sorties Thursday alone while a large air tanker out of Colorado flew 4.

A team of two Nebraska Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters arrived to provide air support Friday afternoon.

Crews from over two dozen volunteer fire departments, including Crawford, worked through the night Thursday. As of Friday afternoon, six firefighters had suffered heat exhaustion. Four were treated and released and two were hospitalized overnight.