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September 02, 2012 06:26 PM

Neb. Wildfires Burn More Than 285 Square Miles

omaha, ne

Strong winds helped wildfires grow Sunday, burning more than 285 square miles in northwest Nebraska and southwest South Dakota.

Fire officials estimate the largest fire, which began north of Rushville, has burned 150 miles alone. Two other fires nearby burned more than 135 square miles of rugged ranch land.

Rushville Assistant Fire Chief Jerry Kearns says firefighters are working hard to contain the fires and protect property.

But Kearns says firefighters have to make difficult decisions about what can be saved. He says it's hard to watch a rancher's hay burn because of this summer's ongoing drought.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman says it will likely take several more days to fully contain the fires, but he says firefighters appear to have all the resources they need to do that.

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