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Crews responding to wildfires in the Panhandle

Crews responding to wildfires in the Panhandle
A Nebraska Game and Parks Commission fire rig guards the perimeter as the wildfire burns in the Wildcat Hills near McGrew on Thursday. (Photo by Justin Powell)

ALLIANCE, Neb. – Visitors to public lands and other recreational sites in the Nebraska Panhandle are being advised of wildfires in the region, and are being asked to be especially cautious because the heightened risk for fires brought on by hot and dry weather.

The Hubbard Gap Fire in the Wildcat Hills in Banner County south of McGrew had burned about 4,000 acres as of Friday afternoon. In addition to threatening and affecting private agricultural lands, early estimates indicate the fire burned about three-fourths of the 1,829-acre Williams Gap Wildlife Management Area.

Among the multiple resources responding to the fire are airplanes and helicopters. Aircraft may use Lake Minatare State Recreation Area and other ponds and reservoirs in the region this weekend. In the event of aircraft activity, boaters are advised to stay near the shoreline.

On Friday, crews with air tankers also were responding to a wildfire in the Pine Ridge about 3 miles south-southeast of Chadron. It was estimated to be 4-5 acres early in the afternoon.

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