In Western Nebraska, firefighters at the Bessey Ranger District continue to contain the fire that
started during the weekend.
Officials Tuesday said the blaze is 50 percent contained. Looking at the effected areas, everything seems to look under control and all fires appear extinguished, but that is only temporary.
"They got most of the fire put out," traveling firefighter James Kurtenbach said. "We're just going through mop up and getting most of it completely out."
Kurtenbach was at the Bessey Ranger District for two days fighting the fire that spread more than 1,043 acres across the forest.
"When we got here it was smokey and there were fires throwing up here and there," Kurtenbach said.
Five crews were released yesterday and today the remaining firefighters focus on the main problem -- occasional torching.
Teams must pay attention to hot spots left from the fire, because right now, there is a moderate possibility that embers may spark from those hot spots and start another fire. The main priority is to not let that happen.
"Getting this thing cleaned up is very important," district ranger Timothy Buskirk said. "When the next dry lightning storm comes and there's fires in other parts of Nebraska, South Dakota, Colorado or where ever, we can release the resources we have so they can go out working on the new ones."
If progress continues this fire may be 100 percent contained soon.
"We hope to have this complete by the Wednesday evening," Buskirk said.
Tuesday Bessey Ranger District opened up two campgrounds and they hope to have many parts of the forest re-opened up by the weekend.