2022 was the second-worst fire season in Nebraska's recorded history, with over 250,000 acres burned. Record-breaking heat and drought conditions persisted, causing soil moisture to hold fast at all-time lows. When the rain did occur, it came at the cost of accompanying lightning. All told, the Nebraska Forest Service assisted with 54 wildfires.
NFS was pivotal in air support operations, managing six single-engine air tanker bases for the full duration of the long fire season. The planes provided crucial water and retardant drops over the year's most significant fires.
On the ground, NFS staff led organizational efforts as part of the state's Wildland Incident Response Assistance Team. This included outfitting local firefighters by acquiring and reconditioning excess federal property; providing crucial leadership and counsel in handling some of this year's largest fires; and working in conjunction with other states to form a Complex Incident Management Team to deal with the Road 702 fire, which burned upwards of 43,000 acres.
NFS continues to provide assistance, grants, and training to support the safety and missions of Nebraska's volunteer fire departments.
- 31 fire training events with 656 attendees
- 10,250 firefighter training hours
- 50 wildfire response deployments
- 14 Community Wildfire Protection Plans established