OMAHA, NE – High winds are partly to blame for a large brush fire between Union and Nehawka south of the Omaha metro Wednesday afternoon.
Nine area volunteer fire departments were called in to battle the blaze. They spent hours putting out the flames, fueled by the winds, dry grass, and debris in a riverbed.
“When we first arrived the cornstalks on the south side were burning and the wind was so extreme, it was just feeding the fire along a creek bed to the south of us,” said Cass County Emergency Manager Tim Maloney. “So we just started calling in resources and started letting them go as we could.”
Maloney said thick black smoke was a problem when crews first arrived. By nightfall he was assessing the mostly-controlled fire, preparing to send volunteer crews home.
“It's not burning too much that the winds keeping it down,” said Chris Clark, volunteer with the Dunbar Fire Department. “There are a lot of them with a lot of the dead trees down there. But it's coming along.”
No one was injured during the fight. Maloney said the damage was limited to burned grassy areas.
High winds also damaged roofs in North Omaha and Council Bluffs. And spread a grassfire at South High.