Crews were still battling several wildfires across the state Tuesday as whipping winds and dry temperatures stirred the flames.
A blaze in southwestern Nebraska that killed a former volunteer firefighter last week, injured several firefighters and destroyed several homes has been halted, the Nebraska Disaster Control Administration said.
But firefighters there were engaged in a running race with Mother Nature to hold that line and create a containment line, said Jonathan Ashford, spokesman for the Rocky Mountain Resort Ingress Management Team.
The fire, known as Road 702 Fire, has burned about 70 square miles (180 km2) of mostly grassland and arable land near the Nebraska-Kansas border and has been estimated to represent about 47%.
Following Monday’s disruption, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the area, which is largely meadow and farmland, on Tuesday, expecting temperatures to be warmer, humidity to drop as much as 15 percent, and wind gusts to 35 mph.
Meanwhile, in the west, crews were continuing their efforts to douse the blazes in Northern New Mexico, which have charred a total of 225 square miles in recent days.
Evacuations remained in effect, and a number of villages were under threat.
Crews there were braced for the weather to take a turn for the worse later this week with a predominantly prairie and cropland area forecast to produce warmer, drier and windier conditions, officials said.