Heineman: Nebraska Should Control Firefighting Planes
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) —
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman says state emergency officials should have
direct control over airplanes that could be stationed in Chadron and
Valentine to fight wildfires.
Heineman said Monday he doesn't
believe the planes should be overseen by the federal government or the
Nebraska Forest Service. His comments came in response to a question
about a bill in the Legislature, the Nebraska Wildfire Control Act of
The bill has undergone several revisions since it was
introduced. The most recent version would require the Nebraska Forest
Service to contract for the planes. The forest service is an agency
within the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Heineman says state
emergency officials need operational control of the planes to maintain a
clear chain-of-command when coordinating their response to fires.