Around 240 firefighters, with 31 fire engines, battled wildfires during training exercises at the West Nebraska Engine Academy on Sept. 11 and 12.
“We have 31 engines and about 240 firefighters from Denver, North Platte, Ainsworth, South Dakota, Wyoming that showed up. I couldn’t give you a number of how many (fire departments are at the training) exactly but they stretch out to Olathe, Kansas. The word is getting around and we get to see a lot a lot of fire departments from a lot of places,” Gering Fire Chief Nathan Flowers said.
The West Nebraska Engine Academy is a great way for firefighters to get experience fighting wildfires in a controlled environment, Flowers said.
“We have some objectives for our academy, and a big one is mitigation, fuel reductions (burning invasive vegetation) and planned and prescribed fire in the Wildcat Hills to help them do some fuel loading,” he said.