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Now Accepting 2023 VFD Prescribed Fire Recognition Award Applications

Once again, the Sandhills Task Force is offering a Recognition Award for all Sandhills-based Volunteer Fire Departments (VFD) for the 2023 prescribed fire season. VFDs who assist private landowners with prescribed fire to control invasive plant species, primarily eastern red cedar trees, are eligible.

Cedars are robbing ranchers of forage and disrupting native plant and animal populations. They are taking over many acres of the Nebraska Sandhills. Prescribed fire is a great tool that can be used to control invasive cedar trees, but some landowners feel they do not have the necessary protection to ensure the fire does not escape. VFDs have equipment and volunteers that can help landowners safely conduct prescribed burns while simultaneously training VFD volunteers in the use of equipment, fire behavior, fire weather implications, and more in a non-emergency setting. Controlling cedars with prescribed fire is proven to reduce the likelihood and severity of future wildfires, so helping burn cedars in a prescribed setting can pay dividends for VFDs. Local VFDs are staffed by busy volunteers who donate large amounts of personal time to serve their communities. Their budgets are very tight, so the Sandhills Task Force would like to recognize those VFDs who assist in controlling cedar tree invasion using prescribed fire.

Reimbursement will be at a rate of $15 per burned acre, with a maximum payment of $5,000 per VFD to spread the awards geographically. More than one VFD may split the award. Participation is defined as providing at least one truck and two trained personnel on a prescribed fire in the Sandhills. Personnel need to be actively involved.

The award application can be found by clicking the link below. Questions should be directed to Shelly at 308-214-0065 or

VFD Prescribed Fire Poster 2023
Download PDF • 761KB

Visit our Prescribed Fire Page for more information on using fire to control Eastern Red Cedar!


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