Fast-moving wildfire kills firefighter, burns 4-H camp in Nebraska, officials say

Photo from Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands

UPDATE: More than 100 personnel are responding to the Bovee fire that is 0% contained as of 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3, the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands said in a news release. One casualty has been reported. The assistant chief of the Purdum Volunteer Fire Department, Mike Moody, 59, died after experiencing a “medical emergency” during the initial fire fighting, reported NTV, the Nebraska Examiner, and the Sandhill Express.

The original story is below.

A major wildfire in central Nebraska destroyed a campground and forced a nearby town to evacuate, officials said.

The Bovee fire began near Halsey on Sunday, Oct. 2, Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands said in a news release.

The wildfire moved “very quickly,” jumping a nearby highway and forcing the evacuation of Halsey and nearby campgrounds, officials said. Nebraska Highway 2 was also shut down.

Officials said the fire is “likely human-caused,” but did not release further details.

The wildfire grew to 15,000 acres by 7:30 p.m., forest officials said in their most recent update. Firefighters continued to battle the wildfire throughout the night.

The fire caused “major devastation” to the campground of the Nebraska State 4-H Camp, the organization said in a news release just after 10 p.m. on Sunday. The lodge and cabins were “a complete loss,” and only one structure remained.

“All of those on site were safely evacuated,” the organization wrote. “We will share more details as we get more of the facts. Our thoughts are with all who are in the area.”

No deaths or injuries have been reported. A fire map is not yet available because the situation remained “very fluid,” officials said Sunday evening. Further updates are expected.

Halsey is about 230 miles northwest of Lincoln.

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