Critical fire weather continues as crews work Road 702 Fire

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – Additional resources have arrived from several surrounding states to assist with the Highway 702 fire. This has allowed local volunteer service firefighters to rest and reset after what has already been several weeks of strenuous activity.

As of Tuesday morning, the size of the fire was 41,448 acres with 47% contained.

Image showing the Highway 702 fire on April 26, 2022.(NOT MY)

Branch I, the north and west side of the fire, encompasses the Cambridge area west along the edge of the fire and south to Lebanon, Nebraska. The portion of the fire north of Highway 6 in A Division has been brought under control. Firefighters will continue to patrol and clean up this area and will continue to reinforce containment lines.

Along the west side of the blaze, from Highway 6 south to near Silver Creek, firefighters continue to work on containment lines and cool hot spots in wooded draws. Heavy equipment is used to remove trees that pose a hazard to firefighters in this area.

From near Silver Creek south to the State Highway 89 Branch I/III break, the perimeter has been confined and firefighters will continue to patrol and clean up.

While Branch III, the east and south sides, encompasses the eastern and southern perimeters of the fire from Cambridge south to Wilsonville and Kansas. From the break in Branch I/III on State Highway 89 south to Route 702, the perimeter of the fire has been brought under control.

Incident Command said good progress is being made on the part of the fire that is in Kansas and that containment of that section of the fire is expected soon. On the east side, the fire had previously pushed back in several places creating unsecured fire edge fingers. A direct and indirect line of fire is constructed to contain the fingers to reduce the risk of fire escaping the containment lines.

Firefighters will continue to patrol and clean up all parts of Branch III that have been locked down.

At this time, there are no ongoing evacuations on the 702 Fire Road.

A red flag warning is in effect from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Critical fire weather conditions will continue through Tuesday evening with winds blowing at 20 to 25 mph for most of the night. Increased gusty winds may create low visibility in and around the fire area due to blowing dust and ash.

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