Bovee Fire at 0% Containment

Bovee Fire at 0% Containment
The Bovee Fire burns behind structures in the Bessey Ranger District compound on the night of October 2, 2022. Photo by Julie Bain/USFS.

HALSEY–Public Information Officer for the Bovee Fire Travis Mason-Bushman spoke with KCNI/KBBN regarding the fire at the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey which began on Sunday afternoon three miles south of Halsey.

The fire is listed at 0% containment and has burned approximately 15,000 acres. The fire was first reported before 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 2, 2022. The exact cause is still under investigation.

More than 100 personnel are working to combat the fire along with 10 engines, 2 Type 1 Hotshot handcrews, 1 bulldozer, 1 fire suppression module.

Federal, state, and local firefighters are aggressively attacking the 15,000-acre Bovee Fire, which ignited yesterday afternoon in the Nebraska National Forest about three miles south of the Bessey Ranger District office.

The Bovee Fire was reported at 1:39 p.m. on October 2, and quickly spread up to 15 miles north, pushed through dry fuels by gusty south winds. Aggressive structure protection efforts by Forest Service and local firefighters successfully defended the historic Bessey Nursery and CCC Campground. Unfortunately, the lodge and camper cabins of the Nebraska 4H Camp were destroyed, along with the Scott Lookout Tower. The fire’s cause is under investigation.

“We had a good night last night and made a lot of progress on the east and north,” said Incident Commander Brian Daunt. “Today’s focus is going to be holding those lines, and constructing line to the west of the fire.”

More than 100 firefighters are on scene, including two Type I Interagency Hotshot Crews, 10 engines, a dozer, and a fire suppression module. Air tankers were used yesterday to drop retardant and slow the fire’s spread, and will be available today if needed. Colorado’s Multimission Aircraft is scheduled to fly the fire this afternoon to provide detailed infrared mapping of the fire perimeter.

Weather conditions today are expected to be much more favorable for firefighters, with highs in the 70s and lighter winds.

The Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team, led by Incident Commander Dan Dallas, has been activated to take command of the Bovee Fire, and is mobilizing en route to the incident.

Nebraska Highway 2 has been reopened between Thedford and Halsey. To protect public and firefighter safety, the Nebraska National Forest has closed the entire Bessey Ranger District to the public during the Bovee Fire. Closure details will be posted on the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/nebraska/alerts-notices.

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