Lancaster County wildfires contained, public told to avoid area
LANCASTER COUNTY, Neb. (KOLN) - Two wildfires that spread in southern Lancaster County Sunday evening are contained, and emergency crews are assessing the damage.
Lancaster County Emergency Management said the wildfires in Lancaster County were contained around 9 p.m. to an area bordered by SW 86th to SW 100th, Panama Rd to Apple Rd. That confinement zone is mostly in Lancaster County, but also stretches into Gage County. The public is still advised to avoid the area.
Two firefighters with the Crete Fire Department were injured while fighting the fire. Crete Fire Chief Todd Allen said one volunteer has serious injuries and is expected to be in the hospital for awhile. The other volunteer firefighter is home from the hospital but has second degree burns to his face. Chief Allen said the rest of his crew is tired but okay.
“This isn’t how it’s supposed to work but when you lace up those boots it’s one of those things that can happen,” Allen said.
Five structures including three homes were destroyed by the fires Sunday night. There’s no word on what caused the fire.
Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner said he couldn’t recall a wildfire of this magnitude in the county and was appreciative of everyone who stepped up to help out.
About 120-150 firefighters from 18 agencies helped contain the fire.
Lincoln Southwest High School served as a shelter for families who needed to evacuate Sunday night. Sheriff Wagner said as of late Sunday night, one family and their pets were at the school.
The Lancaster Event Center helped house 70 head of cattle and horses that were in the fire’s path.
The Saline County Sheriff’s Office and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission helped provide traffic control. The Nebraska State Patrol used drones to better view the fire lines.
Lancaster County Emergency Management issued a disaster declaration Sunday in order to receive aid from the state or federal government as needed.
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