A Maywood/Wellfleet, Nebraska firefighter watches the prairie fire that scorched pastureland in central Frontier County Sunday afternoon. Behind him, a M/W fire truck kicked up a cloud of powder-fine dust as it pulled off the county road, passed tree skeletons and rolled into the pasture northeast of Red Willow Lake. Firefighters from Red Willow Western, based in McCook, provided mutual aid with manpower, grass rigs and a tanker truck as gusty winds pushed the low-crawling flames south. Fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire. A late-summer run of more triple-digit days continues to dry out an already-parched Nebraska to "extreme" and (the worst) "exceptional" ratings on the U.S. Drought Monitor.