NORTH PLATTE, Neb. -- Firefighters continue to make progress on the Betty’s Way Fire north of North Platte. Containment increased to 82% with approximately 60 people working on managing this large and complex wildfire.

Yesterday’s weather was a major factor yesterday in that snow and moisture assisted in suppression efforts, yet wind hampered some suppression tactics. Today’s weather will allow crews to aggressively continue suppression efforts. Fire managers are monitoring fire weather concerns throughout the weekend with the potential of increased winds and decreased relative humidity.

Current operations are focusing on the east area of the fire. Heavy timber like trees have been impacted and continue to burn and put off smoke. In Division K, hand crews and fire engines are aggressively engaged in suppressing timber. In Division R, firefighters are using engines and hand tools to increase the depth of the fire perimeter, eliminating any heat that poses risks to the containment line. In Division Z, firefighters are patrolling the perimeter and confirming there are no other threats to controlled lines. In Division A and Division H, Fire engines are patrolling the perimeters making sure the containment line will hold.

Fire managers are currently evaluating primary residences, outbuildings and agriculture/ranch infrastructure to determine the impact. Earlier news releases provided contacts for agencies that may be able to assist to those affected.

Nebraska’s Incident Management Team, based on Governor Jim Pillen’s state of emergency declaration, has provided assistance to local agencies with fire suppression. Today’s efforts also include developing a plan once the fire is contained. Pockets of heat and fuels will continue to burn within the perimeter for several days. Smoke will be visible within the fire footprint, but will not pose risks to the fire line and cause it to escape. Fire managers hope to make good progress which should allow minimal staff through the night and into the weekend.

For more information please contact the Command Post or Region 51 Emergency Management at [email protected].