Thanks to the combined effort of eight fire departments, a grass fire was contained Monday afternoon at the southwest edge of North Platte Feeders, the largest cattle feed yard in Lincoln County. Firefighters from Maywood, Curtis, Wellfleet, Wallace, Hershey, Sutherland, Maxwell and North Platte made an all-out effort to stop the wildfire at Echo School Road, Lincoln County Emergency Mangaer Dan Guenthner said.
The temperature pushed into the upper 90s and southwest wind was blowing 15-25 miles per hour, with gust to 30 mph, Guenthner said.
A motor grader dug a path to bare soil two times to try to contain the racing fire. The fire jumped it both times as it raced north for about a mile, he said.
"We made an all-out stand at Echo School Road," Guenthner said. "We wet down as much ground ahead of the fire as we could."
A tractor and disc also turned up bare soil near the paved road. Fire crews moved in behind the headfire and other crews waited in front of it.
Part of the fire jumped the paved road but was quickly extinguished and the fire was contained.
The fire began along U.S. Highway 83 about 14 miles south of North Platte. The call came in at 1:45 p.m. At the time, the fire was a couple acres in size on the east side of the road, Guenthner said.
Winds pushed the blaze north and slightly east and it grew to a width of about three-quarters of a mile, he said. Some 600 acres of grass burned. Firefighters were able to protect about 40 bales of hay east of the fire.
The fire was in the Maywood-Wellfleet fire district, North Platte Fire Department Capt. Trent Kleinow said.
North Platte was summoned at 1:48 p.m. and sent four vehicles, Kleinow said.
The fire was under control and mop up began around 4 p.m., Guenthner said. The North Platte fire crew was headed home by 5 p.m.
The cause has not been officially determined.
"We are in extremely hazardous conditions," Guenthner said. "In this drought, any little thing can start a fire."
A fire near Lake McConaughy burned all the way to U.S. Highway 30, started by a bad wheel bearing on a boat trailer. A fire in Logan County started when a tire blew. The rim hit the pavement and made sparks, Guenthner said.
"Everyone needs to take precautions," he said. "We can't stress that enough."
This report was updated and corrected Tuesday. -Editor.