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'Flames were jumping a half-mile at a time': Fire burns 10 miles, destroys 2 homes in NE Nebraska

Posted at 6:16 PM, Apr 25, 2022

LYONS, Neb. (KMTV) — On Saturday, winds near Lyons, Nebraska reached around 60 mph.

Those wind speeds helped fuel a fire that spanned two to three miles in width at one time, authorities told 3 News Now.

Hot spots are still what’s left after fires raged throughout northeast Nebraska this weekend. In total, they covered about a ten-mile span in the Lyons area, destroying two homes.

As Lyons Fire Chief Stuart Miller, tells 3 News Now it could have been a lot worse.

“This is by far the biggest fire we’ve had in our area,” said Miller.

Monday served as a bit of a clean-up day as crews continued to tamp down small fires and hot spots from the weekend wildfire.

Diving around, there was plenty of evidence of what occurred — vast farm fields blackened by flame, going as close as the side of the street on some rural roads.

“With the conditions we had this year, it was probably just a matter of time before it sparked somewhere,” said Miller.

Miller said the dry and windy conditions provided plenty of fuel to make this fire happen on a scale that he hasn’t seen before.

“The flames were jumping a half-mile at a time,” said Miller.

Miller says fire crews worked five or six hours Saturday cornering the fire. “Basically sent anybody and everybody that was available,” said Miller.

Then they put out spotty fires the rest of the weekend. As the dust was still settling, two homes were clearly destroyed.

Miller guessed it was going to be worse.

“The fire was coming up and over my pickup and there was some houses to the north and once I got out of the smoke, I made a phone call and I thought we’d lose a dozen homes that day,” said Miller.

“Losing two is horrible but losing a dozen would be even worse.”

The fire was moving so fast Saturday, the entire city of Macy was forced to evacuate. The fire didn’t end up hitting Macy, and residents were allowed to return back home. Lyons Mayor Andy Fuston told 3 News Now in a text message that victims are able to camp for free in the city park, and that it was a great team effort to protect the countryside near his city.

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