News

Cedar Canyon Fire destroys homes, burns over 13,000 acres in Scotts Bluff County

Three homes were destroyed, and seven others sustained damage, after a wildfire ripped through drought-stricken areas of the Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area and Carter Canyon Public Land in Scotts Bluff County over the weekend.

GERING - Three homes were destroyed, and seven others sustained damage, after a wildfire ripped through drought-stricken areas of the Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area and Carter Canyon Public Land in Scotts Bluff County over the weekend.

“It is truly unfortunate to see destructive damage and residents being heavily affected," Region 22 Emergency Management Director Tim Newman said. "We are praying for our affected citizens and ask them to contact Firefighter Ministry and the American Red Cross. We are currently evaluating options for assistance for affected residence.

The Cedar Canyon Fire, located southwest of Gering, was 30 percent contained Sunday evening, just 24-hours after the fire started. Newman says the blaze has burned 13,051 acres.

Lightning is blamed for the fire, which was first reported at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Newman. Firefighters, from 35 different volunteer fire departments, started battling two separate fires, but with heavy timber and drought-stricken fuels, along with 20 mph winds, the two fires merged and made “fast moving runs” to the north.

“Firefighters engaged the fire but heavy timber, rough terrain and wind driven fire runs hampered efforts,” Newman said.

Fire managers recognized the need for structure protection and began establishing lines along Cedar Canyon Road. Even with the focus on homes, the fast moving flames did not spare some of the structures. Firefighters were able to limit the potential impact, however.

A Multi-Mission Aircraft (MMA) flight was ordered and flown over the fire approximately 1 p.m. Sunday. Fire managers utilized aerial assets to limit fire spread to the east. Type 2 hand crew and heavy air tankers are creating fire breaks along the east and south lines of the fire.

Newman says they no longer need donations of food, snacks and water. However, if you would like to donate items, please contact your local fire department of Firefighter Ministry.

Travelers are encouraged to use caution when driving through the Gering Valley area. Newman says fire trucks are using roads along Carter Canyon and Summit Ranch Road

"Closures are in effect and only residents are able to access certain areas," Newman said. "Please help keep our firefighters safe by staying out of the area.”

For questions please email [email protected], or contact the Incident Command Post and the old Cedar Canyon School.