Burn Schools Set Up in Nebraska Communities - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Burn Schools Set Up in Nebraska Communities

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Sites for 2013 Prescribed Burn Schools have been selected according to Ben Wheeler, Prescribed Burn Task Force president.

The schools, which are used to teach safe and effective ways to use fire as a management tool as well as preparing graduates to use task-force burn equipment, will be located in Kearney, Gothenburg, Elyria and Wellfleet.

One of the main uses of prescribed fire is to control eastern red cedar trees, which have been taking over the state's grasslands for more than 50 years.

An Oklahoma State University researcher has calculated Nebraska is losing 700 acres of grazing land per day. Prescribed fire, if properly planned and executed has been a safe, effective and economical management tool.

The lead speaker for the classes will be Jay Wickham, fire management officer for the Division of Wildland Fire, South Dakota Department of Agriculture, Custer State Park Field Office. In addition to his fire-suppression duties, Wickham is a leader in the division's prescribed-fire program.

He will discuss fire behavior, burning methods and techniques, and equipment and crew needs. Other speakers will address prescribed-fire planning, fire weather and Nebraska burn laws.

All schools will meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with registration at 8:30 a.m. The cost to attend is $10 and includes lunch. Dates and locations are: Kearney-Wednesday; Feb. 20 at the Buffalo County Cooperative Ext.; Gothenburg-Thursday, Feb. 21 at Monsanto Learning Center, Elyria-Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Elyria Community Hall, and Wellfleet-Friday, Feb. 22 at CCC Too Restaurant.

Pre-registration is required for the meal count. Contact Cooperative Extension offices at: Kearney: 308-236-1235; Gothenburg: 308-324-5501, Elyria: 308-872-6831; and Wellfleet: (308) 532-2683.

Those who attend one class session and one of the training burns scheduled for later in the spring, will be certified to use task-force equipment for a nominal fee and thus able to conduct their own prescribed fires.

Separate trainings are scheduled for Volunteer Fire Departments.

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