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Region 24 Complex Fires Burn Through Nebraska

July 25, 2012, 5:55 PM by Brady Mallory

Region 24 Complex Fires Burn Through Nebraska

Three North Central Nebraska fires, known as the Region 24 Complex, that spread 72,405 acres is about 25 percent contained. 

The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Type 2 Team B is coordinating management of the Fairfield Creek Fire (66,745 acres), Wentworth Fire (3,278 acres) and Hall Fire (2,382 acres). 

Depending on where you look, you will not see flames; just a lot hoses and a lot of water.

"You never know when it's all out," Brian Gerken from Loup County said.

Gerken is right.  From any given area, one can see flames shooting up from the hills where the Wentworth Fire is burning.  Gerken said he just started his shift on Wednesday, but some of the other 321 firefighters from 50 counties have been working more than 12 hour shifts. 

"Some of this stuff underneath is going to smolder.  Some of the trees will smolder for a few weeks yet," Gerken said.

This fire started near Springview and has hit a huge chunk of cattle ranch owner Carma James' land.  She stood atop a hill and watched as her land went from bad to worse.  

"We've had such a drought this year.  We're not losing a lot because we've not had much to lose this year," James said.

Six heavy lift helicopters from Utah are also aiding the fight by dropping water on the fire.

According to a firefighter on scene, the Wentworth Fire is currently considered the most dangerous because it is a mere eight miles from the town of Springview, NE.

"My friend in Springview, several friends have already packed up and moved on and went to an area not as safe as before.  We don't really know where to go," James said.

All James can do is wait.  When asked how she would go on, she stopped to think about her answer.

"Well, I'm not sure yet.  I'm just thinking about today and tomorrow," James said.

You can check the progress of the fire by the Incident Information website.

Click on the map below for a better look at where the Fairfield Creek Fires are burning.
Source: Forest Service Active Fire Maps

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
The location of the fire has been corrected from Wentworth to Springview, Nebraska.

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