Cooksley Complex Fire near Anselmo 85 percent contained, McCann Fire 75 percent contained

Several wildfires are still burning throughout the state. However, fire crews are making...
Several wildfires are still burning throughout the state. However, fire crews are making progress.(Custer County Emergency Management)
Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 3:22 PM CDT
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CUSTER COUNTY, Neb. (KNOP) - The Cooksley Complex Fire near Anselmo is 85 percent contained as of Friday morning.

According to Custer County Emergency Management, several structures were lost, an unknown number of acres were burned and an extensive amount of hay and possibly livestock were lost. However, there were no injuries reported.

Highway 2 was closed for a period of time Thursday, but reopened early Friday. Classes at Anselmo-Merna Public Schools were canceled due to the fire.

Meantime, fire crews battling the fire in Cherry County are gaining ground thanks to Thursday much needed moisture.

The fire, which started on Tuesday south of Kilgore, is now 75 percent contained and has burned around 11-square-miles of land.

Nearly 100 fire crews from seven different fire departments are on scene focusing their efforts along the canyons near the Niobrara River where the fire originated.

“For more than 24 hours we were officially at zero percent containment simply because the fire was entrenching itself deep into these canyons,” Nebraska Emergency Management Agency Liason Chris Schroeder said. “At the time, with a lot of swirling winds and billowing smoke there was no way for the firefighters and the engines to get down in there and address that safely, so we were able to bring in some aerial assistance from the National Guard.”

NEMA said the fire likely started from a burn pile. Fortunately, there are no injuries reported or any buildings damaged.