Fires in Dawes County were beginning to cool Sunday, reports the World-Herald.
By midday, the 87,000-acre Wellnitz fire was the most active fire in the area. It was burning north of Hay Springs and Rushville and into the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Days earlier, it had swept through an area about 10 miles north of Hay Springs, engulfing grassland and a few outbuildings.
People living there held their ground, working alongside local firefighters to put down fire lines. On Sunday, though, they weren’t taking any chances. The wind was shifting again, so they loaded up their animals and were heading for town.
The West Ash fire, closer to Chadron, had burned 57,825 acres and was 45 percent contained
Firefighters had finished a 5-mile-wide burnout near Chadron, and a plane had dumped 36,000 gallons of flame retardant.
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