Brush Fires Invade Omaha

Students and Teachers Affected

Burnt Ground;

Ms. Carole Carraher

Burnt Ground; “Our house got smoke damage,” senior Hanna Spearman said. “There were buildings that got burned down, so we had to help them clean up. Everyone was pretty scared at first, but after people went back to their daily lives.”

On Thursday, March 5, there was a brush fire that sprawled over farmland, roads and into neighborhoods on 180th and Buffalo Road. This fire was started by a farmer burning trees off his property. Because of this, many people were affected and large amounts of farmland was scorched before firefighters were able to contain the fire. Counselor Ms. Carole Carraher was one person, in particular, who was directly affected by the brush fire since her house was close to the location of the burn site.
“On Thursday, when we had such bad winds, some of those embers started blowing,” Ms. Carraher said. “They went into the grass and started a grass fire. It burned across two cornfields, jumping three roads. It narrowly missed one farmstead and it burned a barn and two garages, so potentially it affected many of us, but since the firemen were able to contain the fire, it didn’t affect us. We were evacuated though.”

Submitted Photo
Burnt Landscape; “I think we’re all just so grateful,” counselor Ms. Carole Carraher said. “Our homes and all of our animals were saved. I’m just so grateful to the people who risked their lives and kept fighting to save ours.”

Although the fire did not take many people’s homes, it did instill fear in them. Many people had to evacuate in the neighborhoods closest to the fire. After school, senior Hanna Spearman witnessed the fire spreading throughout her neighborhood.
“I was sitting at my kitchen counter and all of a sudden I smelled a campfire,” senior Hanna Spearman said. “I went to my front yard and when I looked across the street I saw a bunch of black dust. All of a sudden, a cop came pulling in and drove through our yard and told me I had to evacuate immediately because the fire may be spreading to our house.”
Firefighters from all the areas of the brush burn came to contain the outraged fire. Because of this, the damage was contained to mostly farmland and a few structures. Houses were not affected by the flames because of the many crews that came in to help.
“Fourteen different towns sent firemen,” Ms. Carraher said. “Including Omaha Fire Department, they came as far away as Mead, the Offutt Airforce Base came, they called in the National Guard, the State Patrol, the Sarpy County Sheriff. There were many, many people out there fighting the fire including the farmers that lived around there to start disking the land to try to stop it from moving because the winds were like 50 miles per hour.”
The brush fire covered cornfields, roads and neighborhoods, but was contained in time and no casualties came from it. People who were evacuated are now back in their homes, all thanks to the first responders.