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Two firefighters injured after south Lancaster County wildfires

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Early this afternoon, grass fires were reported in the south part of Lancaster County.

One was reported South and west of Firth, which moved rapidly to the north. As of 6 p.m. that fire has been contained. No reported structures were destroyed.

The second fire was reported in the area of Southwest 86th Street and West Gage Road rapidly moving north. At 2:44 p.m. Hallam Fire requested deputies begin evacuating residents in the path of the fire. Travel south of Wittstruck Road and west of South 12th street is restricted.

One firefighter suffered serious injuries, and one suffered minor injuries. Their condition is currently unknown, and it is unclear which department they are with.

Many fire departments have responded to assist in fighting the fires. Three residences are known to have been destroyed. The County Engineering Department has set up barricades. The public is asked not to drive around the barricades. The Nebraska State Patrol, Game and Parks officers and Saline County Sheriffs Deputies are assisting with traffic control and checking on the safety of residents.

The Emergency Management Operations Center has been activated and the Lancaster County Board issued an Emergency Declaration at 6 p.m.

Farmers in the area are asked to turn on their center pivot irrigation systems. Any residents displaced by the wildfires can receive assistance from the Red Cross and Salvation Army at Lincoln Southwest High School.

Potentially severe weather this evening could hamper firefighting efforts if lightning and high winds continue.

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