This page includes general information regarding prescribed burning conducted by the Department of Biology, University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). To receive current updates, contact Alicia Mullarkey and ask to have your name added to the OMAHA RED LIST. Emails are sent to the Omaha Red List during each burn season with detailed information regarding when/where prescribed burns will be conducted. Volunteering to assist with prescribed burns at Allwine Prairie currently does not require specialized training. However, for those interested in wildland fire training opportunities, information can be found on the Fire Training website.
Prescribed burns are conducted annually in the spring (late April - mid May) summer (around July 1) and fall (after first hard frost in November) but may be scheduled at other times depending on the specific management objectives for a particular year.
Prescribed burns are conducted when weather is suitable and personnel support is adequate. Research plot burns are conducted each season at either Allwine Prairie Preserve or the University of Nebraska's Agriculture and Research Development Center at Mead.
During late spring, management burns of up to 60 acres are conducted at Allwine Prairie. Burns may also be conducted at a few other locations, including Stolley Prairie, Bauermeister Prairie and/or T.L. Davis Prairie.
Since weather conditions make it difficult to set up specific burn dates, even a week in advance, you can receive the most current information by adding your name to the Omaha Red List.
Transportation will often be available to and from the burn site(s) although we will not returnuntil after completion of all burns scheduled for the day. Last minute details will be emailed to the Omaha Red List. Individuals who plan to participate in only a portion of the day's burning should plan for their own transportation.
Weather and Cancellations
Weather conditions suitable for prescribed burning are difficult to predict so there may be some question about whether or not a burn will actually take place on a given date. Emails will be sent out to the Omaha Red List the morning of the burn prior to the scheduled time of departure or burn time.
What to Bring
Wear old clothes, preferably with a long-sleeved shirt (not made of synthetic material). Nomex (fire retardant) suits, gloves, and fire helmets will be provided. It is also a good idea to bring a water bottle. If you plan to stay through the noon-hour, you might want to bring a lunch. Sunscreen is also helpful during the summer. Generally restrooms are not available on site.
If you have any bronchial problems or other similar medical conditions, it is best not to work with the burn crew, at least not at a position that places you down-wind from smoke. Be sure to let the crew leader know if you have such a condition. If you're interested in just observing, feel free to do so.
For non-university individuals, a waiver of liability, available on-site, must be signed prior to working on the burn crew. Children are welcome to attend but only if a parent or guardian is also present to supervise their activities. Close and continuous supervision is absolutely essential since there are often situations where fires are moving rapidly and in unexpected directions.
Directions to Principal Burn Sites
Allwine Prairie Preserve (Map): Located at 14180 State St in Bennington, NE (Intersection of 148th St and State St).
ARDC at Mead (Map): Research Plots located at UNL's Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead, Nebraska. The research plots are located on the east side of the road at roughly 1055 County Rd 11 in Mead, NE.
T.L. Davis Prairie (Map): Located at the end of Pine Ridge Rd in Elkhorn, NE.
Stolley Prairie (Map): Located at the intersection of 168th St and Blondo St in Omaha, NE. We typically meet in the Family Video parking lot and walk over to the prairie.
Bauermeister Prairie at Zorinsky Lake (Map): Entrance located at 156th St and F St in Omaha, NE. Follow loop around and park at children’s playground near the trail. We will meet in the parking lot and walk along the trail to the prairie