MANSFIELD — Fires burning in Douglas County were 70 to 80 percent contained today, with officials hoping to have them 100 percent contained in the next one to two days.
The largest fire had burned 2,455 acres of mostly sagebrush and grass near Mansfield, although a small amount of crops were damaged, said incident commander Jeff Sevigney. One abandoned grain silo was burned. About 100 firefighters were on the scene this morning.
That fire, along with a fire in McNeil Canyon above the Beebe Bridge, were both 80 percent contained, Sevigney said. The McNeil Canyon fire burned 53 acres. The only structure lost was a small outbuilding.
Late Sunday, 28 homes were threatened by the fires. Twenty-five homes were threatened in McNeil Canyon, but no evacuations took place. Six people were temporarily evacuated from three homes in the fire near Mansfield, but all had returned home by Monday morning.
Called the Douglas County Complex Fire, the two wildfires began shortly after an afternoon thunderstorm swept through the area around 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Level 2 evacuation notices remained in place this morning for some homes in McNeil Canyon and homes on Highway 172 between roads A and C, Sevigney said. Level 2 warnings urge residents to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
“If everything goes well today, I imagine those would be lifted,” he said.
Near Bridgeport, a third fire, the Foster Creek Fire was 70 percent contained this morning. Seth Barnes, a fire spokesman with the state Department of Natural Resources, said the fire has burned about 1,300 acres of sagebrush and grass.
“Today, we’ll be looking for heat and burning roots under the ground, trying to make sure the fire is out,” he said. By the time we turn the fire back to the local districts, we want the potential for reburn to be really low.”
About 100 firefighters were on the scene. Initially, about 10 structures were threatened but none caught fire, he said.
Officials believe a lightning strike ignited the fire around 10 a.m. Thursday near Highway 17 between mileposts 130 and 134.
Dee Riggs: 664-7147