Nebraska's Fire Season Usually Ends in October. It's Still Going Now

Dec. 1, 2021, 5:08 p.m. ·

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

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Nebraska's wildfire season was both longer and more intense than usual. The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said the season is not over yet.

Last year, the Hubbard Gap Fire in western Nebraska burned about 4,000 acres, but this year, Gov. Pete Ricketts declared six wildfires as state emergencies. Earl Imler with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said the fire behaviors this year were different.

"It was just a number of fires this year," he said. "It was a long fire season. It started in June, which normally our fire season will start in July. Now that doesn't mean we don't get fires prior to that, but this started in June. There was just not a whole lot of relief from it. It kept going."

Imler said it was unusual when the Buffalo Creek Fire burned through western Nebraska in mid-November, because usually by then the area has cooled down. Normally the fire season ends in October but Imler said the agency has received different local climatologist reports.

"We're still, we are in a high fire danger situation [which] will be probably at least to the middle of this month," he said. "And it may carry on to the end of the month."

Imler said unless there's a blanket of a foot of snow across the entire state, this year's fire season won't be officially over.