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Nebraska state agencies battling estimated 2,500+ acre panhandle fire

Posted at 3:39 PM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 17:41:14-04

HARRISBURG, NEB. (KMTV) — According to a release from the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), multiple agencies are working to control a wildfire blaze that broke out in the panhandle at 7:00 p.m. yesterday.

At this time, the fire has burned an estimated 2,500 acres in Banner County, southeast of Harrisburg.

Banner County submitted an emergency declaration to the NEMA which was then processed and forwarded onto Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts who approved it.

Additional information from the NEMA:

Incident Commanders have requested the deployment of a large airtanker out of Colorado to assist with suppression efforts. The request was made through Great Plains Dispatch Center in Rapid City, SD, under the compact the State has with other regional partners to help with wildfire suppression.

Two Nebraska Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters are en route to Banner County to provide air support. The helicopters are equipped with 780-gallon water buckets. In addition, the Nebraska single engine air tanker (SEAT) and two SEATs from South Dakota are working the fire also.

Region 22 Emergency Management Agency Director, Tim Newman, reports various fire departments and agencies are working together to fight the fire, providing ground support and resources. No injuries have been reported and no houses are believed to be in danger at this time.

The Wildland Incident Response Assistance Team (WIRAT) has been requested to provide expert knowledge and assistance to local first responders. Two Strike teams from the North and Southwest regions have been called in to provide support. A third Strike team from Northeast Colorado has been put on standby.

Fire weather is expected to remain elevated as dry conditions continue into the weekend.

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