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Homestead monument plans prairie burn

Associated Press Updated: April 16, 2014 at 12:30 pm

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) — Homestead National Monument of America will conduct a prescribed burn on more than 60 acres of its restored tallgrass prairie in southeast Nebraska.

Officials say the burn will occur the first day in which favorable and safe conditions exist. Representatives from the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local firefighters will aid in setting and controlling the flames.

Homestead Superintendent Mark Engler says fire is used to control woody plants, invasive species and reduce thatch. He says fire "is a natural occurrence that holds many benefits for the native prairie grasses."

The monument's 2.5 miles of trails will be closed during the burn.

Homestead National Monument of America sits four miles west of Beatrice, along Nebraska Highway 4.

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