Gothenburg and Wellfleet will host Prescribed Burn Schools soon, according to Bill Carhart, Grasslands Stewardship Coordinator for the Twin Platte Natural Resources District. The one-day schools are designed to show how properly planned and conducted prescribed burns can be an economical tool for managing cedar trees on grasslands.
At both schools, the lead speaker will be Jay Wickham, fire management officer for Custer State Park in South Dakota. In addition to Wickham's fire-suppression duties, he is a leader in the division’s prescribed-fire program.
Wickham will discuss fire behavior, burning methods and techniques, and equipment and crew needs. Other speakers will provide information on fire weather products offered by the National Weather Service as well as a drought update, state prescribed burn statutes, the cedar tree fueled furnace at NCTA in Curtis, and a rancher will give perspective on the economic values of removing cedar trees from grazing lands.
The school is from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., with registration at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $10, covring lunch and handouts. Fire department members pay $5.
Two meeting dates and locations are:
• Thursday, Feb. 21, at Monsanto Learning Center south of Gothenburg (Call Dawson Co Extension at 308-324-5501 to pre-register for the meal count.)
• Friday, Feb. 22, at CCC Too Restaurant along Highway 83 at Wellfleet (Call Lincoln Co Extension at 308-532-2683 to pre-register for the meal count.)
The Prescribed Burn Task Force was formed in 1994. Since then it has held 60 schools attended by more than 1,600 students, while demonstration burns total more than 32,000 acres.
The task force includes landowners and agencies primarily from Buffalo, Custer, Dawson and Lincoln counties.