Prescribed fire is the most cost effective way of controlling cedar trees, and cedar trees are invading the Sandhills. That is why the Sandhills Task Force is bring in a professional prescribed fire contractor to come and instruct two hands on trainings. The morning will be held indoors where prescribed fire concepts, techniques, and safety are explained. After lunch, participants will move outdoors to learn how to properly use the equipment needed for safe and effective prescribed burning as well as ignition sequences and prescribed burn protocol. At least two prescribed burns will be conducted if weather permits. The goal for these events is to provide training and momentum in the Sandhills to help increase the use of safe prescribed burning to control eastern red cedars.

The first training will be held in Ericson on Tuesday, February 28th from 10:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. Central Time. Meet at the Starving Stallion (address: 823 Highway 91, Ericson, NE). The afternoon session will be held at Cedar Creek Ranch (Joel Qualm) approximately 8 miles northwest of Ericson; participants will be led to the location.

The second training will be held 16 miles northwest of Mullen at the 4 Bar 0 Ranch (A.B. Cox and Scout Hebbert) on Wednesday, March 1st from 10:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. Mountain Time. To get there, travel north on Highway 97 out of Mullen for 6 miles and turn west on Calf Creek Rd. Travel west and north for 10 miles; signs will be present to lead you to the ranch.

There is no cost for attendance and lunch is provided. To register, please call or text Shelly Kelly at 308-214-0065 by Friday, February 24th. Walk-ins are welcome, but please RSVP if you can so meal counts can be submitted. Participants will be contacted if weather issues demand a date change. Bad weather dates are March 6th & 7th. The Nebraska Environmental Trust also provided funds for these events.