OMAHA, Neb. – Some firefighters who have battled the western Nebraska and South Dakota wildfires for nearly a week are being sent home, a fire official said Monday.

The three fires have burned nearly 260 square miles, but firefighters have made considerable progress on the Douthit and West Ash fires near Chadron, Neb., said information spokesman Neal Kephart.

“We’re getting a good handle on those fires and releasing personnel and equipment,” Kephart said. The Douthit fire was 99 percent contained and the West Ash fire is 55 percent contained.

He estimated as many as 700 people, including firefighters, managers and support personnel, were working those fires. He expected the number could drop to 400 by Monday night.

Kephart said at least five homes and a number of other structures have been destroyed by the two fires, but that officials will have a better idea of the damage once assessment teams surveyed the area.