Crews spend hours fighting miles-long blaze

Smoke billows from over the hills southwest of North Platte on Tuesday. Crews spent five hours fighting the fire that burned more than 3 miles of grassland. 

Multiple fire crews and a handful of volunteers spent five hours Tuesday fighting a mileslong blaze southwest of North Platte.

The fire was called in about 12:25 p.m. It burned more than three miles of wild land grass west of Miller School Road, said North Platte Fire Captain Emerald Miller. Firefighters believe a powerline may have caused the fire, though Miller said an exact cause may never be known. Miller said no people, property or livestock were hurt in the fire.

“I don’t believe it affected anybody’s crops,” he said.

The warm, dry day only hindered the firefighting, Miller said — “especially the wind.” The National Weather Service reported westward winds of up to 23 mph, with one gust from the west as high as 30 mph.

Fire departments from North Platte, Hershey, Wallace, Sutherland and Wellfleet all responded. Private landowners came to help pour water on the flames, Miller said.

“It was a good thing everybody came together when they did,” Miller said. “If it had crossed Miller School Road, we’d be fighting it for who knows how long.”

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