Fast-moving fire consumes structures, prompts pre-evacuation alerts just west of Scottsbluff

Fast-moving fire consumes structures, prompts pre-evacuation alerts just west of Scottsbluff
August 5th, 2022 | KNEB Staff

Firefighters from several departments remain on scene battling a fast-moving fire that has consumed some structures just west of Scottsbluff.

Shortly before 9:30 p.m., Scotts Bluff Rural firefighters were alerted to a fire on the west edge of West Overland. Initial reports indicated that the fire was in grass and trees and spreading quickly toward structures.

The fire was reported to have engulfed some outbuildings, and it was unclear if any primary structures were impacted. Then, shortly after 11 p.m., the fire began spreading rapidly to the north and west and threatened additional structures along Kolt Lane, and briefly jumped Highway 92.

That rapid progression prompted authorities to advise those residents living north of West Overland and west of South Beltline to be prepared to evacuate.

The Scottsbluff Fire Department was called in to attack the fire to provide structure protection to homes and primary buildings in the area.

The fire also consumed land and outbuildings at the old KOLT building on Kolt Lane. While the Nebraska Rural Radio Association no longer owns the land, NRRA does own the tower site and building.

“Our transmitter building was completely destroyed by the fire,” Bill Boyer, Rural Radio-Scottsbluff Market Manager said. “The building and contents were a total loss. We were able to move install some backup transmitters at other sites, the amount of damage is considerable.”

Boyer praised the local firefighting efforts, saying “I know the firefighters did everything they could to attempt to save our valuable infrastructure. We can’t thank all the volunteers who battled the oppressive heat and difficult fire weather conditions to do their best to limit the damages from this fire.”.

Highway 92 was closed in the area, along with portions of South Beltline Highway. Firefighting efforts were hampered by members of the public driving near the fire to sightsee.

Nearby Riverside Discovery Center evacuated animals from the zoo and sheltered them at Panhandle Humane Society.

Mutual aid was requested from several area departments, including Gering, Scottsbluff, Minatare-Melbeta, Mitchell, Morrill, Lyman, Kiowa, Western Nebraska Regional Airport, Bayard, Bridgeport, Torrington, and Alliance.

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