Fire fighting crews were called out Wednesday afternoon to a fire on Halsey National Forest 3.2 miles Southwest of Halsey. The fire is being called the Natick fire, due to its proximity to the Natick campground at Halsey National Forest. At last report the fire consumed over 2,000 acres and about 3.5 square miles. Thursday morning the fire was thought to be 50% contained. Several local fire departments assisted federal and state crews in battling the blaze. Apparently at one point authorities felt it was under control and dismissed some local fire crews. The fire broke out again about midnight Thursday morning and extra crews were called back.

 Unofficially the fire was declared mostly contained again this morning. The official cause of the fire has not been determined at this time. Unofficially the fire may have been started by a vehicle fixing fence. Heavy amounts of snow this past winter has meant an extraordinary amount of fencing chores this spring. Anyone fixing fence should take extra precautions to make sure the rig they are using is cleaned and well maintained before venturing out. If you stop to clean things out, please do so around a pond or well.

A reminder the Cherry, Keya Paha, Rock and Brown counties are still under a burn ban because of extremely dry conditions.