BANNER COUNTY, Neb.  —  Firefighters say progress continues to be made on a wildfire in the Nebraska Panhandle.

Incident Commander Tim Grubbs, fire chief for the Banner County Volunteer Fire Department, said crews continue to monitor, maintain and contain the fire within its current footprint.

“We are estimating containment of the fire at 28% and will work to increase that line of black around the perimeter today,” Grubbs said. “We are hopeful we will be able to release some of the air assets this afternoon if all goes well.”

Grubbs was especially grateful there have been no reported injuries, accidents or homes destroyed by the fire. He reported the fire laid down overnight, with crews patrolling and monitoring conditions around the perimeter. Today, thanks to those efforts, daytime crews are beginning mop-up efforts in select areas where fire lines are strongest. 

“The Nebraska Incident Management Assistance Team arrived on scene Wednesday to work in coordination with local volunteer fire departments,” Nebraska Emergency Management Agency Assistant Director Erv Portis said. “The efforts of the firefighters and air crews has definitely helped to gain containment of this fire. These partnerships between local and state responders help protect and keep Nebraskans safe.”

Four single-engine air tankers and three UH-60 Blackhawks were providing fire suppression. Two of the Blackhawks providing air support were from the Nebraska National Guard, while another was from South Dakota.

No additional support was requested Thursday for the fire.

Weather forecasts for the area include a chance of showers for the early part of the evening, with wind gusts possible.