Wildfires Break Out Across Nebraska

RELEASE DATE: Apr 27, 2022

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Local State and Federal Resources Respond to Multiple Fires Across the State


27-Apr-22 (Lincoln, NEB.)  —  Nebraska faced significant challenges over the past several days as multiple fires were reported in different areas of the state, many occurring simultaneously. It required the effort of several local, state and federal agencies to work together to respond and provide assistance.

The timeline and briefs below provide an overview of several incidents occurring throughout the state beginning Friday, April 22nd.

Elsie Fire: Reported to NEMA at 19:12 on 4-22-2022

Four fires near the village of Elsie, were reported to the NEMA Watch Center, primarily affecting farm and cattle grazing lands. The fires burned an estimated 4,970 acres. Four firefighters sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Perkins County made an emergency declaration on April 22.

Purdum Fire: Reported to NEMA at 21:48 on 4-22-2022

In Blaine County, near Purdum, five large fires were reported on April 22nd, with more than 20 volunteer fire departments responding. Three fire trucks were damaged in this nearly 30,000-acre fire, which has been contained as of April 23rd.

Cheyenne and Deuel Counties: Reported to NEMA at 23:52 on 4-22-2022

Three large fires broke out between Sunol and Lodge Pole, Nebraska, in Cheyenne and Deuel counties. Residents of the area were temporarily evacuated. The fires were reported contained on April 23rd.

Scotts Bluff County Fire: Reported to NEMA at 12:26 on 4-23-2022

Scotts Bluff County officials reported a combination of high winds, officially clocked at 83 mph Friday, and as many as nine separate fires burning. It was reported that this incident set a record for high winds in Scotts Bluff County.

There were dozens of power poles snapped, trees uprooted, five structures damaged, and uncontrolled fires burning in rural areas that caused evacuations. Upwards of 4,000 customers were without power Friday night, and crews were out Saturday morning working to restore power in the cold, blustery weather. Western Nebraska Regional Airport closed Saturday for safety reasons. This incident was reported 100 percent contained as of April 23rd.

Burt County Fire: Reported to NEMA at 16:49 on 4-23-2022

In Burt County, a fire was reported on April 23 at Lyons, Nebraska, which continued toward the village of Macy, which has been evacuated. Eighteen volunteer fire departments have responded to the fire, which has destroyed one fire truck and one house and has damaged three other structures. Four injuries have been reported, one requiring life flight. A county declaration was issued on April 23rd.

Tuls Dairy Calf Farm Fire – Rising City Fire: Reported to NEMA at 12:58 on 4-24-2022

The Tuls Dairy Calf Farm near Rising City reported a fire around noon on the 23rd. One hay barn, 100 calves and 900 calving hutches were lost. Two firefighters were transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation, while several others were treated on the scene for eye irritation. The fire was caused when a front-loader bucket sparked on concrete and ignited a hay facility. Eight volunteer fire departments responded to this fire. This fire has been contained.

Road 702 Fire: Reported to NEMA at 23:47 on 4-22-2022

Road 702 Current Situation:

Firefighters continue to make good progress on the Road 702 Fire and additional containment is expected by end of shift this evening.  As critical fire weather diminishes and containment increases, excess resources will be demobilized to return home or to other incidents.  The Incident Command System is designed to easily scale up or down to address the complexities of an incident as well as the supervision and management needs.  This includes mobilizing and demobilizing of resources and right sizing of the management team.    

The Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team 1 (CIMT1) will be transitioning the fire to a smaller organization.  The incoming Nebraska Incident Management Team is made up mostly of resources that are currently assigned to the incident and have been working closely with the CIMT1.  Tomorrow will be a shadow day in which remaining tasks are discussed and passed to counterparts.  On Friday, April 29 at 7 am, the local Type 3 Incident Management Team will assume command of the fire and will oversee the remaining work. Transitions from one management team to another frequently happen on incidents to scale the management to an appropriate level based on the size and complexity of the fire, the amount of work to be done and number/type of resources needed to do the work. 

Extended Weather Outlook:  Areas of fog may develop late tonight night into Thursday morning, resulting in reduced visibility as firefighters head to the fireline. Additional chances of isolated thunderstorms are expected Thursday afternoon and evening. A cold front will push through Friday bringing a wind shift from SE to NW, another threat for thunderstorms and a wetting rain.


Road 702 Fire Statistics:

Size: 41,448 acres

Containment: 74%

Total Personnel: 208

Location: Red Willow, Furnas and Frontier Counties (NE); and Phillips and Norton Counties (KS)

Reported: April 22, 2022

Injuries to Date from Initial Attack: 5


For More Information on Road 702 Fire:

  Fire Information Phone: 402-327-1511

Fire Email: