Former Cambridge Fire Chief Dies Fighting Wildfires

April 23, 2022, 7 p.m. ·

Wildfires are burning in both southwestern and northern Nebraska, forcing the evacuations of some small towns, and at least one death is being blamed on the fires.

The Nebraska State Patrol says the town of Cambridge in southwestern Nebraska was evacuated Friday evening. On Sunday residents were allowed back home, but were advised to be prepared to evacuate again.

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency says there was a fatality in the Cambridge area. The Associated Press says NEMA identified the victim as 66-year-old John P. Trumble of Arapahoe. He was a retired chief of the Cambridge fire department. NEMA says he was working with firefighters as a spotter and was overcome by smoke and fire after his vehicle left the road. At least 15 other firefighters have been injured battling the wildfires.

A resident of Cambridge told Nebraska Public Media News that at least two homes in the area have been destroyed.

Another wildfire burning north of the Omaha Metro area forced the evacuation of the town of Macy, but residents there were allowed to return home Saturday evening.

Several fire departments from across the state are fighting the fires which are being fueled by high winds. Law enforcement agencies and state troopers are helping with evacuations.

This is a developing story.