LINCOLN, NE — Fire departments across the state have spent countless hours battling wildfires. Now Nebraska’s top official is stepping in.

Governor Jim Pillen Thursday afternoon put a statewide ban on open burns. the order goes into effect immediately and remains in place until midnight on April 16 — this Sunday.

Under the executive order, no one in the state can activate a burn permit. Normally local fire chiefs have the authority to put in place and remove burn bans. Pillen’s order overrides that through the weekend.

Along with the executive order came a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Nebraska due to extreme fire dangers.

Tuesday, six counties were battling large fires. some of those continue Thursday. There have been several smaller fires this week as well.

Thursday, all of Nebraska except for the extreme northwest corner is in a Red Flag Warning. Much of the state has seen similar conditions all week.