UNL class looks to educate students on combating wildfires

It's been ten years since Nebraska saw the wildfire cycle hit the state, which causes some concern for experts.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – In the past, Nebraska’s wildfire cycle was fairly predictable. Starting in 2000, every six years the state saw a significant wildfire season. The most notable back in 2012.

“We burned almost over half a million acres that year,” Eric Moul, Nebraska’s Wildland Fire Training Coordinator, said.

Now, it’s been ten years since the state has seen that cycle hit Nebraska, which causes some concern for experts.

“We have not had that natural fire cycle come through and take care of all of the dead and down, dormant fuels that have grown and then went dormant and came back down,” Moul said.

There’s been talk that 2022 could prove to be a difficult wildfire season for the state.

It’s a big reason why experts are pushing students interested in the forestry field to take a class at the University of Nebraska that would prepare them for what a wildfire entails.

“Even if you don’t think your job is fire, you need to understand what’s going on,” David Wedin. a professor in the school of natural resources with UNL, said.

The forty hour class teaches students the basics of the federal wildland fire system so no matter what agency they work for, they could easily help crews predict and battle a wildfire anywhere in the country.

By outlining the need to knows of wildfires, students will become certified in wildland fire system training on the federal level and can help in any circumstance should Nebraska see an intense fire season in 2022.

Categories: Nebraska News, News