The Bovee Fire started in the Nebraska National Forest, Bessey Ranger District near Halsey, Nebraska on Oct. 2. According to the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands, it is likely human-caused.
At 4:37 p.m. on Oct. 2, officials reported the fire had burned 100 acres. Just four hours later, it had grown to an estimated 15,000 acres. Authorities gave evacuation orders for Halsey and nearby campgrounds that day.
As of Oct. 3, the fire is at zero percent containment. However, Nebraska NF&G said progress has been made on the north and east sides of the fire.
More than 100 firefighters are working to contain the fire, according to Nebraska NF&G. Authorities dispatched air support and ordered an emergency management team. Local, federal and state firefighters are on the scene, and South Dakota State Wildland Fire and the Black Hills National Forest officials are providing resources.
So far, there has been one reported casualty. Mike Moody, assistant chief of the Purdum Volunteer Fire Department, succumbed to a medical emergency and died while fighting the fire in the Nebraska National Forest on Oct. 2, said Region 26 Emergency Management, according to Lincoln Journal Star. He had served the department for more than 40 years.
Highway 2 between U.S. Highway 83 and Rogers Avenue is closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles, according to Custer County Emergency Management.
The Nebraska State 4-H Camp faced major damage. Eppley Lodge, the Scott Lookout Tower and all cabins were completely lost to the fire. However, everyone on site was successfully evacuated. Firefighters have been able to protect the historic Bessey Tree Nursery and CCC Campground.