Nebraska Panhandle Wildfires Now Largely Under Control

CRAWFORD, Neb. (AP) — Two wildfires that had neared Scottsbluff and Crawford in the Nebraska Panhandle have largely been brought under control, authorities in western Nebraska said.

A fire southwest of Scottsbluff, dubbed the Vista Trend fire that has burned about 3,600 acres (5.625 square miles), was 100% contained by Monday afternoon, while the fire south of Crawford, named the Post fire that has burned 5,400 acres (8.44 square miles), was halfway contained, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

The two fires were were first reported last week and are about 70 miles apart in a region that in the grip of severe drought.

Chris Schroeder with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, said dry landscape, low humidity and gusty winds accelerated both fires last week. By Thursday evening, the state had been brought in to help, and Gov. Pete Ricketts on Friday declared the fires an emergency, freeing up additional state resources.

No injuries or burned homes have been reported from the fires.