Nebraska Panhandle Counties Submit Emergency Declaration for 1,800-Acre Wildfire

Nov. 15, 2021, 1:19 p.m. ·

A firefighter battles flames by spraying water from a hose on trees and grass in the darkness.
A firefighter battles flames from the Buffalo Creek Fire on the Buffalo Creek Wildlife Management Area. (Photo Courtesy of the Gering Fire Department Facebook page)

A wildfire in western Nebraska has burned at least 1,800 acres since igniting late Sunday morning.

According to updates posted to the Gering Fire Department Facebook page, the flames first started around 11:30 a.m. on the Buffalo Creek Wildlife Management Area. Officials estimated Sunday night that the flames burned around 500 acres.

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said, as of Monday morning, the fire was 15% contained with at least 24 fire crews helping limit the spread. Both Banner and Scotts Bluff counties submitted emergency proclamations to Gov. Pete Ricketts in order to receive assistance from the state.

White and black smoke rises from a fire in a grassy area with trees around it.
(Photo courtesy of Gering Fire Department Facebook page)

Two Nebraska National Guard Black Hawk helicopters were deployed Monday morning to the area to assist in dropping water on the wildfire. An agency in Colorado sent two single-engine tankers to also battle the flames.

Emergency crews said they were able to evacuate every from their homes in the area by Sunday evening.

Wrights Gap Road is still closed, as of Monday afternoon. A 'red flag' warning was issued late Monday morning due to high winds.

The Gering Fire Department said many people reached out volunteering to help with the wildfire. The department said it's working with Firefighter Ministries to coordinate any donations of water, Gatorade, eye drops, Chapstick, ibuprofen and granola bars.

Photo courtesy of Gering Fire Department Facebook page.