Multiple agencies responded to a Thursday fire south of Valentine on the South Valentine Refuge.  The fire started just off Highway 83 at the South Pony Lake entrance.  In addition to Valentine Volunteer Fire Department personnel, crews from the Refuge, and departments from Ainsworth, Cody, Kilgore, Johnstown, Mullen, Thedford, Purdum, Wood Lake and Brownlee all sent trucks and manpower.  There was also air support brought in from the Broken Bow area.

Valentine Fire Chief Terry Engels stated that there was a firefighter injured while battling the blaze.  Engels stated that the fireman was not with the Valentine Volunteer Fire Department, but no other information on that firefighter has been made public.

Overall, 283 acres burned between the highway and the headquarters, with no buildings damaged.  Engels credits the quick response by Valentine and surrounding departments for keeping the fire from burning a lot more ground.  There’s a lot of tall, dense, dry grass out there that is potential fuel for wildfires this spring.  A reminder that a county-wide burn ban remains in effect until further notice in Cherry County.