CAMBRIDGE, Neb. (KMTV) — The Road 702 Fire that began last Friday in Kansas continues to burn, but firefighting efforts made significant progress Monday and are prepared for "critical fire conditions" Tuesday.
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency reports that the wildfire is currently 47% contained and at 41,448 acres. Just 24 hours ago, the fire was 0% containment at 41,155 acres, meaning it only expanded roughly 300 acres while crews also achieved a significantly higher containment. The containment of a wildfire refers to the ability of crews to establish a fireline or perimeter that will stop the fire from reaching additional fuel to burn.
There are 159 personnel actively contributing to the Road 702 firefighting efforts as of Tuesday morning. This includes the Nebraska Army and Air National Guard, NEMA, the Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Team One, both the Nebraska and National Forest Services, local volunteer firefighting departments and many other organizations including those in neighboring states. In Nebraska, the fire is burning in Red Willow, Furnas and Frontier Counties, while the blaze continues in Kansas' Phillips and Norton Counties.
The cause of the fire is still yet to be determined, but dry and gusty winds continue to be a major factor in the Road 702 Fire's ability to cover rapid ground. There is a Red Flag Warning in effect until 8 p.m. NEMA's official expectation for Tuesday's weather is to be up to 26 mph in the day through the evening, with individual gusts up to 40 mph. Therefore, it is advised to take caution if traveling near the area, as the wind may kick up smoke and ash to create a lower visibility