Humvee Fire with Explosives Closes Western Nebraska Highways

April 12, 2022, noon ·

Highway 71 north of Kimball Nebraska
Highway 71 north of Kimball, Nebraska. The highway is closed Tuesday as military members extinguish a fire on a Humvee packed with grenades. (Photo courtesy of Nebraska Department of Transportation.)

4-15-22 Update:

Below is an update from the U.S. Air Force:

On April 15, the area of Nebraska Highway 71 near Kimball where a U.S. Air Force Humvee burned has been determined clear and safe by 90th Missile Wing Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel. Airmen from the 90th Logistics Readiness Squadron have worked with personnel on scene to safely remove the burned vehicle from the roadway, securing it to a transport vehicle.

Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the structural integrity of the severely burned vehicle, Airmen will convoy the vehicle back to base to ensure the safety of those on the roadway. Drivers along the I-80W corridor between Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Kimball, Nebraska may notice minor delays.

The area the vehicle burned has been determined clear and safe. For specific information on continual highway closures in Nebraska, please contact Nebraska State Patrol or Kimball County Sheriff’s Office.

Original Story:

Two western Nebraska highways are still closed Tuesday following a vehicle fire Monday. Highway 71 and Highway 88 between Kimball, Scottsbluff and Bridgeport are shutdown to traffic.

The F. E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming said military members were transporting a Humvee loaded with grenades and ammunition on Highway 71 north of Kimball Monday when they noticed flames coming from the vehicle.

A spokesperson for the base said the airmen tried to put the fire out and remove the explosives, but were unsuccessful. Kimball County emergency crews eventually extinguished the vehicle fire and flames around the Humvee.

No injuries were reported, and they're still looking into the cause of the fire. The Air Force base said explosive disposal experts are safely detonating the grenades and ammunition on the Humvee. People near Scottsbluff and Kimball may hear explosions throughout the day Tuesday until they clear the Humvee.

The air base doesn't have a time frame of when the highways will be back open.

Video provided by US air Force/Dept of Defense: