ARTHUR BAY – Nearly 800 acres burned, and six homes at Yucca Heights and two other homes near Arthur Bay were destroyed in a grass fire on the north end of Lake McConaughy this weekend.
Officials say the initial fire, believed to be “human-caused,” started at 10:44 p.m. Saturday night on West Highway 92 near Arthur Bay.
The fire traveled four and a half miles before it was contained and fire departments from Ogallala, Brule, Paxton, Grant, Madrid, Hershey, Sutherland, Grant and Keystone/Lemoyne were released at 6 a.m. Sunday.
The fire rekindled at 11 a.m. local time Sunday, knocking out power to nearby homes. 20 volunteer fire departments across the region responded to the scene.
According to the fire chief at Keystone Lemoyne Command Fire and Rescue, the blaze is under control and those who were evacuated from their homes early Sunday afternoon will be able return in a few days. First responders were expected to remain on the scene overnight.
A local firefighter said her and her crew were released from the scene Sunday night.
One firefighter was injured and transported to a North Platte hospital. There was no word on the firefighter’s condition. No other injuries have been reported.
The Keith County Sheriff’s office warned people to stay out of the area near Martin Bay and Arthur Bay due to the situation.
The Nebraska State Patrol closed Highway 61 from the south end of Kingsley Dam to the north of the Keystone Fire Hall, due to smoke and dangerous conditions. Highway 92 from Lewellen east to the dam was also closed.