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September 04, 2012 05:28 AM

Firefighters Making Headway Against Neb. Fires

Some firefighters who have battled the western Nebraska and South Dakota wildfires are being sent home.

Fire information spokesman Neal Kephart says firefighters have gotten a good hand on the Douthit and West Ash fires near Chadron, Neb.

Kephart says the Douthit fire is 99 percent contained and the West Ash fire is 55 percent contained. Some firefighters, managers and support personnel are being released.

He estimated as many as 700 people were working those fires. He expects that could be down to 400 by Monday night.

Crews are also making good progress against the Wellnitz fire, which is burning north of Rushville and into South Dakota. Officials say if containment efforts continue, some local firefighters could be released soon.

The three fires have burned nearly 260 square miles.

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