- Associated Press - Friday, March 17, 2017

ASH HOLLOW, Neb. (AP) - A fire chief says dozens of firefighters have put out a wildfire that blackened an estimated 7 square miles in the southern Nebraska Panhandle.

Blue Creek Rural Fire District Chief David Dymak (DEYE’-mak) said Friday that the blaze was reported about 2:45 p.m. Thursday about 5 miles south of Lewellen. It began on an unoccupied farmstead and burned across fields of prairie grass and wheat stubble, whipped along by winds gusting to 40 mph. Dymak says some farm outbuildings were damaged as well.

He says his department was aided by nine more, amassing nearly 110 firefighters to battle the flames. Some are still on the scene, keeping watch for flare-ups.

He also says farmers aided firefighters by turning over field sections to eliminate the fuel of dried vegetation.

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