Just weeks after battling the Hubbard Gap Fire in Banner County, firefighters from across the region will once again gather in the area this weekend and descend on the hills south of Gering.
“You’ll probably see airplanes and helicopters in the air, and an increased number of firetrucks from different fire departments in the area,” says Region 22 Emergency Manager Tim Newman, “we’re not having a repeat of the (Banner County) fire, but we are going to do a weekend of training.”
The Western Nebraska Engine Academy is taking place for three days starting Saturday, the third year in a row for the training operation locally.
Approximately 200 firefighters from 30 different cities and four states are expected to participate in the Type III incident training, with a management team of about 35 based out of Five Rocks Amphitheater.
Multiple fire engines, water tenders, helicopters and planes will be traveling in and around the area into next Monday, with active fire exercises in the Cedar Canyon and Buffalo Creek Wildlife Management Areas as firefighters work to gain experience needed for wildland firefighting certifications.