Multiple departments fight wind-driven fire


Gusty winds on Wednesday (Oct. 12) fighting a fire between Wayne and Laurel difficult.

Wayne Volunteer Fire Chief Phil Monahan said the Wayne department was called for mutual aid to a fire that was in the Laurel/Concord area shortly after 2 p.m.

The fire burned an area approximately 5-6 miles long and one mile wide. It burned everything in its path, including crops that had not been harvested.

In addition, seven homesteads were evacuated.

"I can't thank those who came with tractors and discs enough for their help," Monahan said.

A total of seven fire departments worked to battle the blaze. 

They were assisted by the Wayne County Emergency Management, Cedar County Emergency Management, the Nebraska State Patrol and Nebraska Department of Roads.

Water to fight the fire was supplied by Central Valley Ag at Randolph and a number of local farmers.

Highway 15 from Wayne to Laurel was shut down for a period of time due to reduced visibility and the fact that power lines in the area were down.

During the fire, a Wayne Fire Department vehicle, a "tender" that holds 2,000 gallons of water was damaged when the heat from the fire melted part of the vehicle. The exact amount of damage is not known at this time.

Fire officials are continuing to monitor the area to check for hot spots.