Wildfire Burns 15,000 Acres, Forces Evacuation Of Halsey, Destroys Much Of State 4H Camp


     A fast-moving wildfire that began about 12:30 Sunday 3 miles south of Halsey has burned an estimated 15,000 acres, forced the evacuation of the village of Halsey, and destroyed most of the State 4-H Camp.

      The Bovee Fire also closed a portion of Hwy 2 near Halsey Sunday night because of heavy smoke and firefighting equipment. Officials say the fire was likely human-caused.

    The Nebraska National Forest said in an update last night at 7:30 that multiple large and single-engine air tankers had been dispatched and an incident management team had been ordered. 

    Resources from central and western Nebraska were being joined by units from the Black Hills National Forest andSouth Dakota State Wildland Fire, including a bulldozer.

     A Facebook post from the Nebraska State 4-H Camp near Halsey said the Eppley Lodge and the cabins at the camp were complete losses with the staff house apparently the only remaining structure, but that all those on-site were safely evacuated.

    It’s not clear how many people have been evacuated from Halsey and the surrounding area. Local ranchers were helping neighbors move cattle out of the path of the fire.

      Also on the wildfire front, a fire Sunday evening about 3 miles north of Edgemont was contained at just under 14-acres.

      The Dewey Road Fire was reported at 5:37 and declared contained at 9:06 by state and federal firefighters. The cause remains undetermined.