The Nebraska Forrest Service has decided to leave some fire fighting assets in O'Neill. Last weekend a tanker truck and a semi trailer with wildland fire fighting chemicals was brought to O'Neill from Valentine.
The tanker which holds around 8 thousand gallons of water is mixed and then loaded onto aircraft for water drops. The equipment will be left at a site at the O'Neill Airport where, if called on, airplanes out of Valentine and Rapid City could use the O'Neill Airport as a refilling point for fire fighting airplanes to fight fires much like what took place at the Brush Creek incident two weeks ago.
The Wildfire Control Act of 2013 enabled the establishment of Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) bases in Nebraska. SEAT bases are staffed by Nebraska Forest Service during the fire season, primarily working with a SEAT on contract to Nebraska through our partners at the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency.
Permanent SEAT bases are established in:
• Alliance - Municipal Airport
• Chadron - Municipal Airport
• McCook - Ben Nelson Regional Airport
• Scottsbluff - Western Nebraska Regional Airport
• Valentine - Miller Field
The O'Neil airport will be the home of the assets until the fall when wild fire season dies out.