BEATRICE – During a Spring marked by wide swings in the weather, conditions were nearly ideal Thursday, for a controlled burn of prairie grass at the Homestead National Monument of America, near Beatrice.
National Park Service personnel conducted a burn of two sections of tall grass prairie, and a small area near the Freeman School. The helps native grass regenerate and eliminates unwanted plants. The exercise covered about 40 acres.
Fire Boss Scott Beacham of the National Park Service Midwest Region led a briefing of fifteen personnel involved in the burn.
:35 “up and around”
The area burned was a central strip of the monument’s tall grass prairie from a south hedgerow, north to a trail along Nebraska Highway Four. A second, smaller tract of prairie grass was burned just east of a footbridge that leads to the Homestead’s Education Center.
At the time of the exercise just after twelve noon, temperatures were in the low 50s with a northeast wind at less than ten-miles-per-hour. Smoke from the burn was going nearly straight up, drifting south away from the highway.
Personnel conducting the burn included members of the Homestead staff, the Midwest Region of the National Park Service, wildland fire personnel from the Black Hills and from Springfield, Missouri.