Nebraska National Forest plans for prescribed burns in April

Published: Mar. 28, 2021 at 6:40 PM CDT
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HALSEY, Neb. (WOWT) - The Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest plan for a series of prescribed burns from the beginning week of April 5 through May 8.

It’s planned to burn up to 10,000 acres of grasslands on the Bessey Ranger District. Officials say the smoke could be present for up to one week after ignitions are complete and the smoke could be seen from Thedford, Dunning, Stapleton, Purdum, Highway 2, Highway 83, and other areas around the Middle Loup and Dismal Rivers.

They say the purpose of the prescribed burns is to decrease the encroachment of eastern red cedar trees into the native prairie and firefighters will manage the fires with the priority of public safety.

3,000 acres of eastern red cedar trees were cut and piled by the staff of the district and officials say burning is the most economical method of preventing cedar encroachment.

They also say low-intensity fire can revive the grasslands and promote forbs that support pollinators.

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