Homes destroyed, fire continues in Scotts Bluff County’s Carter Canyon Fire

Smoke plume from Carter Canyon Fire southwest of Gering, July 31.
Smoke plume from Carter Canyon Fire southwest of Gering, July 31.(Courtesy)
Published: Jul. 31, 2022 at 7:41 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 9:40 AM CDT
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SCOTTS BLUFF COUNTY, Neb. (KNOP) - Three homes are destroyed after flames ripped through drought-stricken areas in Scotts Bluff County over the weekend. The battle to fight the fire continues with 30 percent containment just 24-hours after the fires started.

Lightning ignited flames were first reported at 6:30 pm Mountain Time on July 30, according to the Tim Newman, Director of Region 22 Emergency Management. The fire fighters started battling two separate fires, but the two fires merged. The so-called Carter Canyon Fire is located within the Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area and Carter Canyon Public Land area southwest of Gering.

With heavy timber and drought-stricken fuels, along with 20-mile-per-hour winds, the two fires merged and made “fast moving runs” to the north.

Fire managers recognized the need for structure protection and began establishing protection along Cedar Canyon Road. Even with the focus on homes, the fast moving flames did not spare some of the structures. Firefighters were able to limit the potential impact, however.

  • Three primary residences destroyed
  • Seven damaged homes

A Multi-Mission Aircraft (MMA) flight was ordered and flown over the fire approximately 1:00 pm on July 31. Fire managers utilized aerial assets to limit fire spread to the east.

As of Sunday evening the fire is reported at 13,051 acres and 30% contained. Firefighters are working in heavy timber and rough terrain establishing control lines where they can be successful.

Over 35 fire local volunteer fire departments are assisting with battling this blaze. County, State and federal resources have also been assisting. Currently a Type 2 hand crew and heavy air tankers are creating fire breaks along the east and south lines.

“It is truly unfortunate to see destructive damage and residents being heavily affected. We are praying for our affected citizens and ask [them] to contact Firefighter Ministry and the American Red Cross. We are currently evaluating options for assistance for affected residence,” Tim Newman, Director of Region 22 Emergency Management.

Newman adds, “Due to the overwhelming support of the community, donations of food, snacks and water are no longer needed. If you still have items to donate, please contact your local fire department or Firefighter Ministry. Please use caution when traveling through the Gering Valley area. Fire trucks are using roads along Carter Canyon and Summit Ranch Road. Closures are in effect and only residents are able to access certain areas. Please help keep our firefighters safe by staying out of the area.”

For questions please email or contact the Incident Command Post and the old Cedar Canyon School.

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