Natick Fire 100% containment expected today, Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Staff Writer

Rain and favorable weather conditions led fire officials at the Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands (NNFG) to predict 100 percent containment of the Natick Fire by later today.

The Natick Fire, now determined to be human caused, started late Monday afternoon, April 17, seven miles west of Halsey and ten miles southeast of Thedford and burned completely on US Forest Service Lands. According to fire officials it burned 202 acres in thick timbered areas and grass understory of the forest and no structures were threatened or evacuations required.

Julie Bain, Bessey District Ranger said, “Our area partners really contributed to successful suppression of the Natick fire with no injuries. Volunteer Fire Departments (VFDs) from Mullen, Halsey, Dunning, Thedford, Stapleton, and Brownlee were vital to the initial response on this fire; and yesterday we greatly appreciated continued assistance from the Halsey, Thedford, and Dunning VFDs. The University of Nebraska 4-H Camp provided vital support to all firefighters and crews by providing housing and meals.”

Bain also noted that the Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands firefighters received critical support from South Dakota Wildland Fire, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and both Nebraska and Kansas US Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Thanks to assistance from Mother Nature, we expect to release most of the firefighters and other resources later today. NNFG fire crews will continue to monitor and mop up the burned area,” Bain said.

All roads are now open. The Natick Campground will be opened tomorrow.

Bain urges visitors to be cautious as fire vehicles and other personnel may be working in the area.

Bain asks that anyone with questions, including about road closures, to please call the Bessey Ranger District office at (308) 533-2257.