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High winds have caused wildfires to burn through large swaths of Nebraska, leaving a former fire chief dead and at least 15 fire officers injured.informed the authorities.
The retired Cambridge firefighter died Friday night while working with the other officers as a spotter. in Red Willow County, in the southwestern part of the state. The blazes have so far burned more than 78 miles (202 square kilometers) in Furnas, Frontier and Red Willow counties on Sunday afternoon.
In addition, The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said fire officials were working to contain the flames, and authorities were unclear as to how much was contained.
For her part, Alyssa Sanders, of NEMA, said that the former officer John P. Trumble, 66, of Arapahoe, was affected by smoke and fire after his car skidded off the road Friday due to poor visibility due to smoke and dust. His body was found Saturday morning.
also at least 15 firefighters were injured while dealing with the blaze, including five who were injured while extracting Trumble’s body from the vehicle.however, a spokeswoman for the state agency said she did not have details on the state in which they are.
Fires have been reported in 14 Nebraska counties so far since Friday, including Perkins, Dundy, Burt, Butler, Scotts Bluff, Cheyenne, Duele, Blaine, Cherry, Brown and Thomas counties.
The state agency said those other fires had been largely extinguished or contained by Sunday afternoon.
The agency did not give estimates of the total area burned by the fires or the number of houses and other structures that were destroyed. Nearly 100 calves died when a Rising City fire burned through calving sheds, and at least three fire trucks were damaged or destroyed in the flames.
Sanders said he didn’t have all the details about the fires available to him because local fire departments were handling the response to most of them.
Besides, Small towns like Cambridge, Bartley, Indianola and Wilsonville in southwestern Nebraska and Macy’s in the northeast were forced to evacuate due to wildfires.
On the other hand, the state National Guard deployed three helicopters and several support trucks to help extinguish the fire.
In addition, In New Mexico, 20 wildfires continued to burn across the state Sunday, including one that had spread to consume 84 square miles (217.56 square kilometers) of land.