Nebraska legislature considers bill to enhance wildfire response

SEAT at Hot Springs
Single engine air tanker #466 at Hot Springs, SD, March 14, 2012. Photo by Bill Gabbert

UPDATE at 5:34 p.m. MT, April 5, 2013:

State Senator Jerry Johnson said the Governor is in favor of the bill.


(Originally published on March 25, 2013)

The Nebraska legislature voted 36 to 0 on Monday to advance a bill to the second round of debate that would appropriate $1.7 million to improve the response to wildfires. LB634 directs that contracted single engine air tankers be stationed at Valentine and Chadron, one at each location, during the fire season. It would also provide for the thinning of forests, make more wildfire training available to volunteer firefighters, and develop a Type 3 incident management team.

The air tankers would be available through mutual aid agreements for fires that occur across the states lines in South Dakota, Colorado, and Wyoming.

Before the vote on Monday the bill was amended, adding the following:

Since an emergency exists, this act takes effect when passed and approved according to law.



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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.