A grass fire erupted near the McPherson County Line Wednesday afternoon and consumed nearly 2,000 acres before it was extinguished five hours later. The fire started around 5 p.m. in a pasture next to the north end of Viersen Road, Lincoln County Emergency Manager Dan Guenthner said, a couple miles from Nebraska Highway 97.
The fire spread quickly even though the wind was light.
“It is just so dry, it doesn’t take much to take off like a rocket,” Guenthner said.
Guenthner said the weather service reported winds of 5-10 miles an hour.
Fire crews from McPherson and Logan County quickly responded and received help from North Platte, Maxwell, Hershey, Brady, Sutherland, plus a grass rig from the east end of the Wallace fire district.
More offers of help were turned back from Paxton, Mullen and Thedford, Guenthner said.
“The first responders did an exceptional job,” Guenthner said. “At first we thought we might need air support but it was getting late in the day to call them into the air. We had enough crews to surround the fire and get it contained.”
No buildings, hay piles, crops or livestock were damaged. Guenthner said firefighters kept the blaze out of nearby cornfields that are being harvested.
The fire spread north and west, covering about two miles in each direction. A catalytic converter on a car parked in tall grass could have started the fire, but the exact cause is not yet known, Guenthner said.