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Wildfire training academy underway at Ponca State Park

PONCA, Nebraska (KTIV) – For the next three days, area firefighters, emergency managers and National Guard members will call Ponca State Park home for some very important classes.

The Eastern Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy is underway at the park.

The goal is to help train and educate individuals to fight wildfires in the region.

Officials say there is a common misconception that wildfires don’t occur in eastern Nebraska, but crop fires do qualify as such.

They say the academy helps to get firefighters and agencies together to use common knowledge and terminology so they can work together efficiently.

“It’s so they’re on the same level, they all know that I need a type 6 engine and that the other person goes ‘yep I know what exactly what that is, I can respond to that.’ That way if someone is coming they can ask what’s going on, what’s the fire doing, they all have the same shared knowledge on what’s happening and how to react, instead of mix and matching and piecing everything together,” said Jorden Smith, Wild and Urban Interface Forester for Nebraska Foresters.

All of the classes are National Wildfire Coordinating Group accredited courses.

The academy runs through Sunday.

Brett Funke

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