Prescribed burn at Agate scheduled Saturday

Photo courtesy of Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

Preparations are complete and weather conditions are expected to be good for a 240 acre prescribed fire planned sSaturday at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, 22 miles south of Harrison, NE. The burn area is located in the Daemonelix Trail area, on the North side of River Road, and to the East of State Highway 29.

The prescribed fire on 165 acres will begin at mid-morning Saturday and will serve as the field exercise for the Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy's "Ignition Operations (S-234)" course.

Monument superintendent James Hill says the burn will provide a crucial training opportunity for wildland fire fighters and will also offer the National Park Service a chance to reduce fuel loading in the northwest portion of the monument, allowing better protection management of the prairie environment.

Assisting with the burn will be crews from the Northern Great Plains Fire Management Area and students from the Seventh Annual Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy. Both engines and hand crews will be involved to ensure as little disturbance as possible to the natural resources of the monument.

The burn is scheduled for two days, the first to black line the perimeter as a buffer for the burn itself and the second day to burn the unit. During the burn smoke from the fire may be heavy at times and both State Highway 29 and River Road may be temporarily closed for safety reasons. Unless there is significant precipitation, smoke might be seen in the area for up to 10 days. The Daemonelix Trail will be closed during fire operations and possibly for the 2 weeks following the burn.

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