Nebraska State 4-H camp destroyed by wildfire
LINCOLN, Neb. (KNOP) - A large wildfire continues to burn in the Nebraska Sandhills.
The Bovee Fire started in the Nebraska National Forest, Bessey Ranger District near Halsey on Sunday afternoon. The fire moved north quickly, jumping past Highway 2.
As of Monday morning, 15,000 acres have burned and it is zero percent contained. According to the Nebraska National Forest and Grasslands, the fire is “human-caused and is under investigation.”
A Nebraska National Forest and Grasslands spokesperson said a State 4-H Camp lodge and cabins were destroyed along with the Scott Lookout Tower. However, the historic Charles E. Bessey Tree Nursery and CCC Campground were saved.
“The Eppley lodge as well as the cabins are a complete loss; it appears that the only structure remaining is the staff house. All of those on site were safely evacuated.”
At least 100 people are fighting the fire and local, state and federal resources are being used.
“We had a good night last night and made a lot of progress on the east and north,” said Incident Commander Brian Daunt. “Today’s focus is going to be holding those lines, and constructing line to the west of the fire.”
Weather conditions today are expected to be much more favorable for firefighters, with highs in the 70s and lighter winds.
Nebraska Highway 2 has been reopened between Thedford and Halsey. To protect public and firefighter safety, the Nebraska National Forest has closed the entire Bessey Ranger District to the public during the Bovee Fire. Closure details will be posted on the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/nebraska/alerts-notices.
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