Day Two - Niobrara River Canyon Fire
- Published on Saturday, 21 July 2012 12:25
Saturday, July 21st is the second day of the Niobrara River Canyon Fire. According to Doug Fox of Region 24, the fire has burned approximately 30,000 acres.
The fire is blamed on lightning from a Thursday evening, July 19th storm. It was reported Friday morning, July 20th and firefighters have been on the scene since that time.
Over 16 departments have responded to the fire including: West Fairfield, Bassett, Ainsworth, Sargent, Anselmo, Stapleton, Newport, Wood Lake, Johnstown, Long Pine, Stuart, North Platte, Curtis, Tryon, Valentine and Calamus. Local businesses and farmers are transporting water to the fire fighters in tank trucks, semi's and water tanks in pickups and on trailers.
The fire started on the south side of the Niobrara River west of the Norden Road. Firefighters had hoped the fire would stop at the river, but strong winds were pushing the fire and it jumped the river Friday afternoon.
Firefighters now had two fires to fight. During Friday afternoon, the fire raged north towards Norden and Highway 12.
It burned some structures in Norden, but the long standing Norden Dance Hall was spared and still stands. Firefighters on the scene were reported to have said that the Norden Dance Hall was not saved by them, but by Mother Nature.
The fire jumped Highway 12, but firefighters got it stopped on the north side of the Highway.
Doug Fox reported Saturday morning that a helicopter was going to be used on Saturday to dump water on places fire fighters were unable to reach. Heavy equipment was also brought in during the night to make fire breaks as the fire continues to burn and is heading east on the north side of the river.