Crews are working through strong winds and dry conditions Thursday to contain wildfires in seven Nebraska counties.
State officials say the latest fires have burned an additional 58,000 acres in Nebraska, an area the size of Lincoln. Most of the fires were contained or nearly contained by Thursday afternoon, but the wind is complicating some of the firefighting efforts.
The fires are burning in Cherry, Holt, Knox, Boone, Merrick, Nance and Fillmore counties. These latest fires bring the total area burned this season to about 300,000 acres, an area nearly the size of Los Angeles.
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency is asking farmers to curtail their haying and harvesting until the winds subside, to reduce the fire risk. But officials will not impose fines on those who choose to continue.
Residents of one town in northern Nebraska have been allowed back into their homes now that a wildfire has burned around it. Valentine Fire Chief Terry Engles says the fire is heading southeast, away from Crookston, so the 70 or so residents were allowed back into town Thursday morning.
The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning for the area and says gusts could reach 70 mph on Thursday. Engles says no injuries have been reported, but a few outbuildings have been damaged.