FURNAS COUNTY, Neb. (KMTV) — A wildfire in South-Central Nebraska has destroyed several homes and burned more than 30,000 acres, or 40 square miles, and some residents are assessing the damage that swept by and even through their properties.
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency says the blaze was sparked by a dead tree that blew into a power line around noon Thursday. It quickly spread in Gosper and Furnas Counties, and continues to burn as of Monday.
Residents grabbed what they could as the fire moved towards their homes. Furnas County resident, Tove Reiman, evacuated her home and tried to take what she could. Among what she evacuated with was her mother's ashes.
Reiman sprayed down her house and backyard with water in hopes it would help to save it.
When she returned after the evacuation was lifted, Reiman found her home still standing, but she lost her barn, her cornfield and some feeders.
“I feel so grateful ... then you feel guilty because so many people lost so much at the same time,” Reiman said. “I have to just keep telling myself to feel grateful … take it for what it is... accept it.”
Not all of Reiman's neighbors were as lucky. Another nearby home was essentially gone after the fire swept through. It had fortunately been evacuated of its occupants at the time.
Firefighters say they have prevented the fire from spreading further by setting up firelines and monitoring hotspots. As of Sunday night, the fire was about 50% contained.