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Nebraska-South Dakota Wildfire Nearly Three-Quarters Contained

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NEBRASKASOUTH DAKOTA WILDFIRE
A number of stumps smolder inside Chadron State Park south of south of Chadron, Neb., on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman toured the West Ash fire site Sunday. Officials estimated Sunday that the fires have now burned roughly 273 square miles, including at least 27,000 acres in South Dakota. That's up from roughly 93 square miles on Saturday and more than twice the size of Omaha. (AP Photo/Omaha World-Herald, Jeff Beiermann, Pool) | AP

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Firefighters have contained nearly three-quarters of a wildfire that has scorched more than 120 square miles in northwest Nebraska and neighboring South Dakota.

An incident report posted Monday night says the Wellnitz fire burning north of Rushville, Neb., is 74 percent contained. That figure was 27 percent early Monday, when officials said firefighters were making good progress in extending their lines and removing hot spots that might burst out.

Three fires in the two-state area have blackened nearly 260 square miles.

Firefighter spokesman Neal Kephart said Monday that the Douthit (DOW-'thiht) fire was 99 percent contained and the West Ash fire was 55 percent contained. He says some firefighters who have battled the wildfires for nearly a week are being sent home.

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