Dry Weather Fuels Fire Near Weissert; 2000+ Acres Burned

Dry Weather Fuels Fire Near Weissert; 2000+ Acres Burned
Fire near Weissert, Neb. on Saturday, January 29. Photo courtesy Becky Govier.

Press Release: On January 29th, 2022, at 12:03 pm the Broken Bow and Sargent Volunteer Fire Departments were dispatched to a grass fire. The fire originated one mile north of the Randy Peterson residence bordering the Broken Bow and Sargent fire districts. The departments developed a joint incident command.

Broken Bow and Sargent departments requested Ansley, Anselmo, Arcadia, Brewster, Callaway, Comstock, Mason City, Merna, Oconto, and Taylor for mutual aid. WI RAT (Wildland Incident Response Assistance Team) was put on standby at 1:26 pm and dispatched for mutual aid at 3:09 pm. A command post was set up at the Weissert Church and by Saturday night, nineteen departments, roughly 175 firefighters and EMS, 3 aircraft (2 from Broken Bow-1 from Kearney), and 74 apparatus were on scene at the Weissert fire. Region 26 Emergency Management assisted with incident command. Water was provided by wells owned by Mike Peterson, Gary Coleman, and Mike Christensen.

Agencies also on scene included many members of the Weissert community, Weissert Church, the Custer County Sheriff, Custer County Emergency Management, the Custer County Board of Supervisors, Custer County Highway Department, Nebraska State Patrol, and Custer Public Power. 

An estimated 2000 acres burned during this fire; 4 houses were threatened but we are very fortunate that there was no loss of life, nor were there homes or structures lost with the exception of an abandoned shed that was no longer in use, and all livestock was relocated without incident.  

Mop-up continued on Sunday and Monday to monitor and eliminate any hot spots. Departments assisting with mop-up include Hall & Howard counties, Ainsworth, Hay Center, Sutherland, Wallace, Cairo, Woodriver, Doniphan, Elba, Boelus, Dannebrog, Farwell, and St. Paul Fire Departments. 

The Broken Bow & Sargent Volunteer Fire Departments would like to extend thanks to the departments that covered Custer County including Lexington Fire & Rescue, Cozad Rescue, Arnold Fire & Rescue, Stapleton Fire & Rescue, Burwell Rescue. All were staged to assist but no further assistance was needed. 

All departments would also like to recognize and extend their thanks to the community of Weissert for their efforts in opening their church for a command post, Angela Baltz and Christina Watson for their help organizing the food, and drinks. Grocery Kart and Gary’s Superfoods both of Broken Bow for their donations, and Eggleston Oil for providing fuel.