Central Nebraska wildfire 72% contained, officials say

Feb. 26, 2024, 5 p.m. ·

Bett's Way Fire.JPG
Photo Courtesy Nebraska State Patrol

A large fire in Central Nebraska that has impacted over 70,000 acres is estimated to be 72 percent contained, according to the latest information from the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency.

A release from NEMA states the fire, named the Betty’s Way Fire, started burning around 10:30 a.m. on Monday roughly 9 miles northwest of North Platte.

Over 15 area volunteer fire departments responded to work the fire. NEMA says that wind gusts of over 40 mph caused the fire to grow rapidly, and evacuations were issued for multiple areas ahead of the fire. There are currently no evacuation orders in place.

As of Tuesday morning, 71,022 acres have been impacted.

Betty's Way Fire.JPG
Courtesy NEMA

One primary residence and multiple outbuildings have been destroyed, and one residence was damaged, according to NEMA.

Fire managers are working with the American Red Cross and other state agencies to provide assistance to those in need.

Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen approved a request to declare a state disaster which allows additional funds to assist in fighting the fire.

On Tuesday, the National Guard deployed two helicopters to drop water on the fire.

NEMA says a mowing operation caused the fire.