LINCOLN–(KFOR Apr. 14)–A state of emergency has been declared by Governor Jim Pillen regarding various wildfires across Nebraska.
Pillen on Thursday afternoon said through an executive order, all open burning in Nebraska will be banned until Sunday. Pillen said it will allow the state to coordinate and activate the necessary resources to effectively combat the wildfires.
Meanwhile, Lincoln Firefighters dealt with a grass fire in the northwest part of the city late Thursday afternoon. Fire crews were able to get control of it in about an hour in the area of Highway 34 and West Fletcher. Lincoln-Lancaster County Emergency Management said in a Twitter post that the grass fire was moving rapidly and creating heavy smoke, while reducing visibility.
No reports of any damage or injuries.
Elsewhere, the Rock Creek Fire in Jefferson County has burned 2,600 acres, damaged one home, and is 65 percent contained. No injuries have been reported.
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said 80 firefighters are on scene and the Nebraska National Guard UH-60 will continue bucket drops over the western section of the fire where most of the fire activity continues. A dozer and crews are also digging lines around the perimeter. The other sections are in mop-up.
NEMA wants to remind the public that while the fire is 65 percent contained, containment does not mean the same thing as extinguished. Containment is the barrier around the fire’s footprint to prevent spread and fire may be burning inside the perimeter.