Local crew responds to fight wildfires at Lake McConaughy

Monday, March 20, 2017

McCOOK, Neb. — Red Willow Western Rural firefighters responded to a mutual aid call from the Keystone-Lemoyne fire district Sunday about 4:30 p.m., to help fight wildfires burning at Lake McConaughy since Saturday.

RWW was among 25 fire departments that responded to Keystone-Lemoyne Fire Chief Ralph Moul’s request for personnel and equipment.

“It was such a fast-moving fire that we didn’t have the resources on hand and we couldn’t keep up with it,” Moul said. “It was traveling faster than we could travel on our rigs on the ground. It covered a mile in three minutes. You’re not going to go across that mile with fire engines in three minutes.”

The Red Willow Western took six people, two grass rigs and a water tender, and fought fires in grassland, buildings and trees.

Many homes at Lake McConaughy were evacuated as a result of the fire, reported about 11 p.m. Saturday and which rekindled midday Sunday in Keith County.

The fire started on Saturday night and was under control toward morning. However, it reignited at points about noon Sunday.

RWW firefighters returned to McCook mid-morning today.

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