Using a drip torch for a controlled burn

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Niobrara Valley Prescribed Fire Training


This event has been cancelled for 2020.


The Fire Training Exchange (TrEx) is a two-week program at the Niobrara Valley Preserve (NVP) in north-central Nebraska. TrEx facilitates peer-to-peer learning for those interested in advancing their understanding of prescribed fire and fire-adapted landscapes. Participants learn, practice, and share knowledge, skills and experience in a hands-on training environment.

Each participant serves a trainee and trainer in qualified firefighting positions on a burn team throughout the event. We train with equipment, practice fireline leadership, learn about local fire ecology, fire management, and landscape restoration projects through field exercises, workshops, presentations, field trips, and yes, prescribed burning.

Who Should Attend?

We are looking for ranchers, private landowners, volunteer firefighters, fire professionals, natural resource managers, and others ready to learn and share their knowledge around prescribed fire.

Training positions most applicable to this event include: Prescribed Fire Crewmember, FFT2, FEMO, FFT1, FIRB, ENGB, & RXB2. Please contact Amanda Hefner to discuss other trainee positions. Prior prescribed fire experience is not required.

Activities Planned

Participants will serve in qualified and trainee firefighting positions on a burn team and will assist with preparing, scouting, briefing, igniting, holding, mop-up, and patrol on numerous prescribed fires in the area. We will also complete pre- and post-fire monitoring, train with various equipment, practice fireline leadership skills, and learn about local fire ecology and management.

There will be field trips to areas burned in recent fires and presentations from local ranchers and other community members, scientists, land managers and fire practitioners.


  1. There is no minimum number of days required for attendance. Facilitated instruction and live fire will occur throughout the event as the weather allows.
  2. Participants working on National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) positions need to be current with refresher course/pack test and arrive with initiated taskbooks.
  3. Participants must have personal or employer provided medical insurance.
  4. Participants should come prepared for both live fire field exercises and classroom instruction.
  5. Participants must bring fireline-approved boots (all-leather work boots, 8 inches tall, with non-slip soles and no steel toe). Additional Personal Protective Equipment will be available at the training exchange.

Meals and Travel

All meals, ground transportation and lodging will be provided during the training. Participants are responsible for their own travel to and from the Niobrara Valley Preserve near Johnstown, Nebraska. Participants should arrive at the preserve on Saturday, March 21st at 9:00 a.m. Central Time.

Registration is Open Until January 30th, 2020.

To apply, please contact Amanda Hefner by email or at 402-722-4440.