Nebraska Wildfire Stark Reminder for Proper Safety and Handling of UTVs

More than 15,000 acres of land was burned in the fire.

Smoke from the fire that covered over 15,000 acres.Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands

Last Saturday, a Nebraska wildfire was reported to have covered more than 15,000 acres of land. After investigation, it was found that the fire originated from a UTV crash in which the vehicle caught fire and was abandoned on a trail in the Nebraska National Forest.

As of Thursday, Nebraskan firefighters have the fire 97 percent contained. Lost in the fire was 59-year-old Mike Moody, who had been with the Purdum Volunteer Fire Department for 40 years. Campgrounds in the surrounding area and the village of Halsey were evacuated Sunday, as the Nebraska State 4-H Camp had already been engulfed in the fire.

A map showing the coverage of the fire.Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team

As we approach the dry season and fires become more prevalent, it is always important to revisit trail safety. Crashes and engine malfunctions happen in side-by-sides; it’s something that you always have to be prepared for while riding. Proper emergency communication and equipment could prevent incidents like this from happening.

First of all, you should try to avoid riding alone. If you do find yourself alone in a trailside emergency, gear like a fire extinguisher, a radio, and a first-aid kit are just a few pieces of essential equipment that should be readily available. A fire extinguisher in this situation might have saved 15,000 acres of land, too many buildings to count, and most importantly, a life.

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