Grass fire burns long swath in Webster, Nuckolls Counties

Smoke from a grass fire burning in Webster and Nuckolls counties cut visibility on a gravel road.
Smoke from a grass fire burning in Webster and Nuckolls counties cut visibility on a gravel road.
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 6:15 PM CST
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WEBSTER COUNTY, Neb. (KSNB) - Local fire crews were left on mop up duty late Thursday night after an afternoon grass fire sparked and burned and area 11 miles long and roughly one mile wide in spots. The fields included corn stalks and picked bean fields. Firefighters from at least five volunteer departments attempted to contain the fire, which was driven by 50 mph winds. It took them more than eight hours before they got the fire knocked down.

Clay County Emergency Manager Tim Lewis told Local4 the fire started near Guide Rock and had moved southeast out of Webster County into Nuckolls county. At one point, the fire spread to nearby deciduous trees, which prompted fire officials to evacuate nearby homes. Fortunately, those residents were allowed to return to their homes shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday.

The grass fire spread quickly with the assistance of the strong winds, prompting the Nebraska State Patrol to close down stretches of highway in the area. Those roads are now back open.

Volunteer firefighters from Hebron, Superior, Guide Rock, Blue Hill and Lawrence were trying to get the fire under control. The state patrol said travel was not advised on highways 78 or 136 in Webster and Nuckolls counties. Emergency radio reports indicated that some buildings were threatened, including at least one house.

Fire crews from both Webster and Nuckolls Counties are planning to monitor the fire’s hot spots overnight and be on-hand Friday morning for when the winds pick back up. All departments that provided mutual aid have since returned to station.

Stay with Local4 for the latest details on the fire.

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