163 Acres Burned, 8 Fire Departments Respond To Tuesday Afternoon Fire

It took multiple fire department agencies to put out a fire that began the days following a controlled burn. According to Custer County Emergency Manager Mark Rempe, a controlled burn had taken place in the days prior to the Tuesday, January 4 fire, but some embers from the controlled burn had not been completely extinguished. When winds began to pick up on Tuesday mid-morning, embers ignited multiple smaller fires that eventually spread and combined into one large fire.

As reported previously, Ansley was dispatched to the fire at approximately 12:30 PM near Cumro Road, south of Ansley. Crews that arrived on the scene attempted to put out the flames, but the winds quickly pushed the fire across the grass toward the southeast.

According to the National Weather Service archive, winds around noon were blowing around 29 MPH with gusts of 43 MPH. The high winds continued through the afternoon staying consistently above 28 MPH with the highest recorded gust of 49 MPH taking place around 2 PM.

Mutual aid was requested from multiple departments in Custer County and surrounding counties. KCNI/KBBN was on the scene where multiple departments could be seen fighting against the wind to stop the flames from spreading through the pasture. Just before 3 PM the leading edge of the fire dropped into a small canyon and was extinguished by fire crews essentially stopping the spread of the fire to the east.

Rempe stated fire crews continued to monitor the burnt area into the evening hours to make sure there were no possible flare-ups.

Fire departments that responded include Ansley, Mason City, Eddyville, Miller, Amherst, Sargent, Broken Bow, and Arcadia. Also on scene were Ansley EMS, Custer County and Dawson County Emergency Managers, and the Custer County Sheriff’s Office. Casey Williams of Arrow Aviation in Broken Bow was also on stand-by if winds decreased to allow for aerial support.

Approximately 163 acres were burned in the fire. No injuries were reported.

On-Scene Report