Eastern Nebraska, including Lincoln and Lancaster country, is under a red flag warning today. A red flag warning is a fire/weather warning from the National Weather Service, meaning that conditions are ideal for wild fires: dry vegetation conditions, very low humidity, high winds. Historically, Nebraska's prairies have been regularly scorched by wildfires, which, despite their destructive power, also brought renewal to the grasslands.
Today, however, the grassland wildfire can threaten more than the occasional soddy on the plain. A wildfire in eastern Nebraska could cause millions of dollars in property loss, and threaten thousands of people. We had a close call on Saturday, when a fire ignited on this triangle of land west of Salt Creek and south of West A Street.
For my entire career, this triangle of land has been the site of hobo camps. I've walked it on many occasions, as Southwest Team officers still do today. From time to time, a body has been discovered in this vicinity. Although the fire inspector has not determined the source of this fire with certainty, I would not be surprised at all if it was a cigarette discarded by one of the denizens of the brush.