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Fire burns 1,000 acres near Anselmo

September 12, 2012

Photo by Mike Bailey, Ansley Fire Department

ANSELMO - - Reports indicate a fire east of Anselmo Sept. 6, burned as much as 1,000 acres of land before finally being contained during the early evening hours.
The fire broke out at around 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon about three miles east of Anselmo on the Victoria Springs Road. Departments from Anselmo, Merna, Sargent, Broken Bow, Callaway, Arnold, Dunning, Brewster, Ansley, Comstock, Taylor, Burwell and the Halsey National Forest, along with two air support planes, responded to the blaze.
Along with the fire departments who responded to the blaze, a host of local individuals brought in water - such as Downey Well and Trotters. Even local farmers answered the call with water tanks in the back of their pickup trucks, to assist in any way they could.
One structure in the path of the fire received some damage, but the fire crews were able to save that structure, and several others.. In the charred aftermath of the fire, one house sits on top of a hill, completely surrounded by black ground but still standing - a testament to the skill and determination of our volunteer fire crews.
“We sat outside and watched the flames over the tops of the trees,” says Joann Still, who lives a mere two miles west of where the fire came. “We watered down around the house as best we could, and prayed. We could hear the cedar trees exploding.”
Anselmo Fire Chief Mark Christen says the cause of the fire remains unknown - and with the dry landscape, it doesn’t take long to spread. Christen says his department has been called out every day since last Thursday’s fire to put out leftover hot spots.
As fire trucks came in from all across the region, authorities closed the road heading west at Victoria Springs, and heading east at Anselmo. For the most part the fire remained on the south side of the highway, but did jump the road in a couple of spots. The efforts of the fire crew is evident as burned pastures are visable on one side of the road, and untouched corn fields on the other.
The Anselmo Fire Department was again dispatched Tuesday evening, as once again a hot spot from this fire had flared up in a canyon. The crew was able to take care of the flare up without assistance from another department, and continues to closely monitor the site.
According to the Nebraska State Fire Marshal’s office, as of July 19, there is a ban on any open burning in the state on all bonfires, outdoor rubbish fires, and fires for the purpose of clearing land. For questions on regulations for burning in your area, contact your local fire chief, or the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 402) 471-2027.

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