Osceola to Host Burn School

A Prescribed Burn School will be held on Friday, January 18, 2019, at the Polk County Fairgrounds Agriculture Building from 9 a.m. to 4:00 pm.  Workshop attendees will hear from speakers with a variety of burn experience and learn how to conduct a predictable controlled burn in an open-field setting.

The workshop will focus on the benefits of using fire to manage grassland, however; since fire can start anytime and anywhere, the knowledge gained from the workshop will be valuable to anyone who uses fire to eliminate waste on their land.

Mark Alberts, a well-known prescribed fire advocate in Nebraska, will be one of the speakers at the event. As a farmer, Alberts uses fire to control Eastern Red Cedar and other invasive plants on his grassland. The timing of a burn, how you prepare for a burn, and how much fuel is in the field, are important variables when planning a controlled burn.  Mark will be sharing his first-hand experience of what using fire can do for your land.

David Carr, Bill Hiatt, and Lisa McMillan will also present at the burn school. Carr, Central Platte NRD range management specialist, has conducted hundreds of burns across from Gothenburg to Columbus, NE.  He was the burn boss for several burns right here in Polk County.  Hiatt is new to the Central Platte NRD staff, bringing 19 years of burn experience to the event as he shares about fire behavior.  Lisa McMillan, range conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Broken Bow, has mastered the art of writing burn plans.  She will share her knowledge and skills as she teaches attendees how to properly write a burn plan.

Pheasants Forever, the burn school’s official sponsor, will have their burn specialist Brian Teeter present on how fire improves grassland and how managing grassland benefits wildlife. Teeter will bring a Pheasant Forever trailer filled with equipment that is available to groups conducting burns.

Polk County NRCS and the University of Nebraska will also be represented at the Prescribed Burn School.  Melissa Bartels, extension educator with Butler County; Kristi Schleif and Alane Nelson from Osceola NRCS; will provide information on cost assistance available through NRCS and the NRDs for conducting burns.

There is a $10 registration fee for the class to cover the meal and literature.  Register online at http://nebraskapf.com/product/osceola-prescribed-fire-basic-workshop-2/ or you can call Evette Watts at the Polk County Extension office 402-747-2321. 

NRCS provides reasonable accommodations for all persons with disabilities to participate in NRCS programs and activities. If you require special accommodations, contact Alane Nelson at 402-747-2111 Ext. 107 by January 4, 2019.