HALSEY, NE- Continued cool and moist weather has helped crews make progress containing the Bovee Fire in the Nebraska Sandhills region near Halsey. The fire began at the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey Sunday afternoon and quickly spread north.
The size of the Bovee Fire in west-central Nebraska was mapped at 19,000 acres, or about 30 square miles Thursday up from the 15,000 acres, or about 23 square miles (60 square kilometers), reported Sunday night, according to a report from the Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team. More than 200 firefighters from several states have been fighting the fire that was 94 percent contained Thursday morning, according to the The Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands Service.
The fire destroyed the main lodge and cabins of the Nebraska State 4-H Camp, as well as an observation tower in the Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest.
All evacuation orders have been lifted and Highway 2 is open, although watch for smoke along with increased traffic including large vehicles aiding in the fire effort.
A firefighter died while actively fighting the Bovee Fire on Sunday. The Purdum Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Mike Moody suffered a medical emergency and died, according to the Region 26 Council. He was 59-years-old.
Officials have said the fire was “human-caused,” but have not released details on how the fire started.