Emergency crews are shifting their focus on two fires that are burning near the town of Harrison in Nebraska's panhandle.
The Thayer fire, just northeast of Harrison, is estimated to have burned 30,000 acres. The Rudloff fire, just southeast of Harrison, has reached U.S. Highway 20. Officials estimate it to be 20,000 acres.
In addition, three more wildfires continue to burn outside of Chadron, Neb.
The Nebraska governor's office said out of the six fires that started in northwestern Nebraska, only one is contained and a second one is almost contained.
But windy conditions are keeping the other fires burning strong.
More than 65,000 acres of northwestern Nebraska are charred after lightning strikes sparked several wildfires across the panhandle late last week.
Gov. Dave Heineman visited the region twice this weekend. He visited Chadron on Saturday and talked to one of three families who lost their homes.
"This is the kind of thing we expect in mid-August, not starting in July. And so I think we got another two, three, four weeks ahead of us, we really need to be prepared," Heineman said.
"The other night, we watched this one and we could just watch the big yellow flames come up. They looked like they were as high as those trees," said Fred Hagman whose home was destroyed.
Aid workers, hand crews, helicopters and about 700 firefighters continue to battle the flames.
Many residents who evacuated their homes have returned, but some have not.
"I do call home, and the answering machine picks up, so I think it's still there," said evacuee Renee Mann. Chadron barely escaped the flames.
"We could (see) the whole line right across the horizon and it was bright flames, and we had to watch and wonder if the entire town was going to burn down," said evacuee Vicki Eitemiller.
The American Red Cross and Salvation Army are providing support for firefighters.
An emergency relief fund has been set up to help victims and emergency crews.
Donations can be made to any bank in Dawes or Sioux County.
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