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Wildfire Continues in West Central Nebraska

On February 26th at 10:32a.m. North Platte 911 center received a phone call reporting a wildfire from a resident on Betty’s Way, approximately 8.6 miles northeast of North Platte.

North Platte Fire Department responded with 3 stations and arrived on scene within 12 minutes. Fire managers established immediate suppression tactics and named the fire the Betty’s Way Fire. North Platte requested mutual aid through the Mid-Plains Mutual Aid District which is comprised of 15 area volunteer fire departments.

Due to red flag warnings and wind speeds in excess of 40 mph, the fire grew rapidly to the east. Evacuations were issued for areas ahead of the fire. As of today, no injuries were reported.

Additional requests were made to the State of Nebraska and Governor Jim Pillen declared an emergency disaster. This provided additional support from Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, Nebraska Forest Service, Nebraska State Fire Marshal, and cooperating agencies from across the state. Governor Pillen activated the Nebraska Incident Management Team to support the local fire managers on scene.

Region 51 Emergency Management ordered additional support from many Nebraska fire departments. Nebraska IMT began operations on Tuesday February 27th at 6:00a.m. to assist in managing additional resources throughout the state. The Nebraska National Guard and Nebraska State Patrol are assisting with aerial supports and drone needs.

As of February 27th, Betty’s Way Fire is 71,022 acres. Fire managers are currently working on assessing the work performed through the past 24 hours and should expect some containment issued later in the day. Two (2) primary residences and numerous outbuildings have been destroyed. We are currently working with ranchers, farmers and residents to address any needs they have. Fire Managers are actively working with the American Red Cross and various state agencies to provide assistance to those affected by the Betty’s Way Fire.

The Nebraska State Fire Marshal’s Agency has determined the fire was human caused, resulting from mowing operations.

According to the Nebraska National Guard, two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and crew departed from Lincoln this morning to assist the agencies fighting fires, and they will provide support as long as they are required.

For questions or information please contact Betty’s Way Incident Command Post and Region 51 Emergency Management at 308-520-7230 or