Heineman wants clarification to fire bill

Governor Heineman says some changes need to be made in a bill that would pour new firefighting resources into central and western Nebraska, areas that experienced massive summer wildfires last year.

The measure would place aerial tankers in Valentine and Chadron during fire season, require the state to thin forests, and offer new training to emergency responders, among other steps. Heineman told KNEB News the measure needs to have language clarifying the state, not the federal government, has operational control of the new equipment.

Heineman says he is also talking to the bill's sponsor, Senator Al Davis of Hyannis, about the cost of the legislation. Nebraska experienced 1,570 wildfires last year that burned a total of 786 square miles.

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