Prescribed broadcast burns to begin March 25 |

Prescribed broadcast burns to begin March 25

Halsey, NE- March 13, 2019- Fire managers on the Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands plan to conduct a series of prescribed broadcasts burns beginning the week of March 25 through May 1, as weather conditions allow. The broadcast burns are planned on up to 12,500 acres of native grasslands on the Bessey Ranger District.

The prescribed burns are intended to reduce the encroachment of Eastern red cedar trees into the native prairie. Staff on the District have already cut and piled about 1,450 acres of large Eastern red cedar trees off the grasslands on the Bessey Ranger District this year. Conducting a broadcast burn should kill most of the trees that are three feet tall or less. Burning is the most economical method of preventing cedar encroachment, and fire is a natural disturbance process that can rejuvenate the grasslands and promote forbs that support pollinators.

Prescribed fires are managed with firefighter and public safety as the first priority.

Smoke from the prescribed burns may be visible from Thedford, Dunning, Stapleton, Purdum, Highway 2, Highway 83, and other areas around the Middle Loup and Dismal Rivers. Lingering smoke may be present for up to one week after ignitions are complete.

If you would like to be notified the day the broadcast burns will take place, please call the front desk at (308) 533-2257 or email For technical questions about the prescribed burns, please contact Tedd Teahon at (308) 880-0540 or (308) 533-8108.

– Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands