Fires that began burning due to lightning strikes at the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey continued to burn on Thursday.
Thursday morning the fire known as the “201 East Fire” had burned an estimated 1,489 acres. By 3:30 Thursday afternoon, the estimation on burned acres eclipsed 2,500 acres and continues to grow.
Region 26 Emergency Manager Alma Beland told KCNI/KBBN that she wanted to push aside worry and get information to the citizens of Dunning that no evacuation is needed at this time. She said that the forest service doesn’t believe that it is necessary, but went on to say that it is important to have a plan ready if situations change.
Beland said that Thursday presented very windy conditions in the forest, with gusts estimated between 30 and 40 miles per hour. She said federal, state, and local firefighting crews continue to battle the blazes on the ground while also being prepared in case the fire breaks out of the forest.
Fire growth is expected on the east side of the fire and potentially north. As the fire moves from heavy timber to grass, it may slow enough to allow greater progress in the ongoing suppression efforts amid red flag warning conditions.
The Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey, NE is temporarily closed. The closure is necessary to provide for public and firefighter safety as they respond. Please remain aware of local conditions. To remain updated on the fire, you can follow the Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands Facebook page or the Region 26 Emergency Management Facebook page.