EDISON, Neb. (AP) — A wildfire in southern Nebraska fueled by dry conditions and strong winds forced the evacuation of the small village of Edison, destroyed several homes and factored into the death of a rural fire chief who was killed in a crash while responding to the blaze.
The Nebraska State Patrol called for a mandatory evacuation Thursday night of the Furnas County community of about 130 people about 187 miles southwest of Lincoln. That order was later extended to rural residents around Edison and near the small town of Stamford, across the county line in Harlan County. Several schools in the area canceled classes Friday, and the National Weather Service reported that several homes were destroyed in the fire.
Shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, an SUV carrying emergency officials to the fire collided with a water tanker on state Highway 283 in Furnas County as smoke from the fire cut visibility to zero, the patrol said Friday. Elwood Volunteer Fire Chief Darren Krull, 54, who was a passenger in the SUV, died at the scene, the patrol said.