Roughly 500 firefighters will be trained over the next few months to prepare for what's likely to be another bad wildfire season in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Forest Service says the additional firefighters are needed because of the continuing drought and high levels of fire fuels in forests.
More than 1,500 wildfires that burned nearly 500,000 acres were reported in the state last year. Officials say firefighters were spread thin last year while battling those fires.
The classes for firefighters will continue through May.