Halsey — Fire units are inching closer to fully containing a fire in the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey that began Sunday and has burned nearly 19,000 acres of grass and timber. The Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands Service said the fire was 97% contained as of Thursday night. On Thursday morning containment was estimated at 94% by the Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team.
Command will transition to a local team Saturday morning.
Officials say a UTV fire on a recreational trail started the blaze. Officials at a community meeting in Halsey on Thursday said the investigation indicates there was no negligence on the part of the UTV operators. The fire has burned about 30 square miles and led to the death of a volunteer firefighter.
A memorial service for Mike Moody was set for 2 p.m. Friday at Sandhills High School in Dunning. The 59 year old Moody was assistant chief of the Purdum Volunteer Fire Department. He died Sunday after suffering an apparent heart attack while fighting the fire.
Bovee Fire Update Friday, 10/7/2022, 9:00 a.m.
Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team 1
Dan Dallas, Incident Commander
Information Phone: 402-302-0368 (public) 402-937-9090 (media only)
Information Staffing Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Special Note: In our efforts to right size for current fire conditions on the Bovee Fire, today is the last shift for Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team 1. At 7:00 am Saturday, management of the fire will transfer to a local Type 4 Incident Management Team. The Rocky Mountain team would like to thank all those who have worked so hard to assist us during our tenure here. This will be the last written update for the Bovee Fire, but updates may be posted on the Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands Facebook page as the situation warrants.
Current Situation: The Bovee Fire is 18,930 acres and 97% contained. The fire is completely surrounded by fireline. Firefighters continue to work on improving the line, mopping up, and patrolling. Structure protection forces have completed assessments and will focus today on chipping fuels near structures. Residents should note that even though the fire is approaching full containment, smoke may be visible in the interior of the fire for some time. This is normal and does not present a threat.
Division A: A UAS (Unmanned Aerial System or drone) found no heat near the line yesterday. Today, firefighters will continue to patrol the line and mop up any heat sources that may be found.
Division Z: There is one small area of heat remaining inside the fireline on the south end of this division. Though inside the fireline, this heat source accounts for the 3% of the fire that remains uncontained. Today, firefighters will grid this area to ensure all hotspots are found and mop them up. The remainder of the Division will be patrolled. Hazard tree mitigation will occur on Road 201 and Trail 112.
Division L: The UAS found two heat sources yesterday in the shelterbelt on the north end of the Division. Crews quickly mopped them up. Today, the focus will be on patrolling the fireline and mopping up any other hot spots that may be found.
Weather, Fuels, and Fire Behavior:
Today will be the coldest day of the week with highs in the upper 40s, a minimum RH of 40%,and light/variable winds. A few scattered sprinkles are possible in the morning, but skies should clear in the afternoon. Saturday will see mostly sunny skies, highs in the upper 60s, and minimum RH of 40%. Winds will be light and out of the west. Fuels remain moist, and no additional fire spread is anticipated.
Evacuations, Closures, and Fire Restrictions:
There are no current evacuations on the Bovee Fire.
Highway 2 is open, but please use caution as there will continue to be fire traffic in and around the fire area.
An Area Closure encompassing the entire Bessey Ranger District is in place on the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands. Fire restrictions are also in place on various parts of the Forests and Grasslands. For additional information on both, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/nebraska/alerts-notices
Wildfires are a no-fly zone for unauthorized aircraft, including drones. If you fly, we can’t. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.
Bovee Fire Statistics:
Size: 18,930 acres
Total Personnel: 190
Location: 3 mi. S. of Halsey, NE
Reported: October 2, 2022
Cause: human caused, under investigation