Wildfire scorches nearly 1,800 acres of grassland in northwest Nebraska on Tuesday

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WHITNEY, Nebraska — Firefighters have contained wildfire that burned nearly 1,800 acres of grassland in northwest Nebraska Tuesday.

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency says five volunteer fire departments worked with firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service and two air tankers to deal with the fire in Dawes County.

Wind spread the fire through tall grass east of the village of Whitney quickly. It was contained by 6 p.m.

Crawford Fire Chief Brian Prosser, who coordinated the response, says the fire was likely caused by a mechanical problem on a hay baler.

Nebraska declared an emergency for the area to free up state disaster-relief money.

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