OMAHA, Heaven. “Fire crews have taken advantage of the time-out in their battle to control major wildfires in the western and flat states, but fear that the return of stronger winds on Tuesday could spread the flames even more.”
A wildfire in southwestern Nebraska that killed a former volunteer firefighter last week, injured several firefighters and destroyed several homes has been nearly halved, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said.
The fire, called Fire on Road 702, burned about 70 square miles (180 square kilometers) of mostly pasture and farmland near the Nebraska-Kansas state line and is estimated to be about 47% under control.
Terry Krasko, a spokesman for the Rocky Mountain incident management team, said a strong wind was blowing Tuesday afternoon, but firefighters were able to contain the blaze within the existing perimeter. He said there were no new casualties or more damage.
“It’s a lot calmer,” said Crasco of Cambridge, Nebraska. “I’m not saying it’s out. There is still a lot of heat and we will work for a few days to cool it down, but for the most part the fire remained within its previous footprint. ”
After a weather break on Monday, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning Tuesday for the area with mostly prairies and agricultural land, with temperatures expected to be warmer, humidity to drop to 15% and winds to 35 miles. time (56 km / h).
In the West, meanwhile, crews have continued to work to fence off fires in northern New Mexico that have burned a total of 225 square miles (580 square kilometers) in recent days. The evacuations continue and several small villages are under threat. Although an unknown number of homes have been destroyed, conditions do not allow authorities to have access to many areas to investigate the damage.
The largest of the forest fires has blackened more than 94 square miles (245 square kilometers) in Mount Sangre de Cristo. The crews there were preparing for the weather to change this week with the forecast for hotter, drier and windier conditions for the area.
In Arizona, crews are working to fence and clear a 30-square-mile (80-square-kilometer) forest fire on the outskirts of Flagstaff that burned 30 homes and additional structures last week. The planes helped firefighters fight a variety of large fires that continued to grow, burning 10 square miles (26 square kilometers) in Prescott National Forest in north-central Arizona.
Four new fires were reported Monday, two in Colorado and one in Oklahoma and Virginia, according to the National Interdepartmental Fire Center. Nationwide, 11 major fires have burned about 342 square miles (890 square kilometers) in six states, the agency said Tuesday. More than 3,500 firefighters and support staff have been assigned to these fires.
Associated Press writer Susan Montoya Brian reported from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Associated Press writer Paul Davenport contributed from Phoenix. Associated Press reporter Margaret Stafford reported from Kansas City, Missouri.
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Progress has been made in forest fires, but strong winds are threatening efforts
Source link Progress has been made in forest fires, but strong winds are threatening efforts