- Associated Press - Friday, April 18, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Gov. Dave Heineman has signed a bill that will have Nebraska join forces with Colorado, Wyoming and the Dakotas in fighting wildfires.

Heineman announced Friday that he has designated Al Berndt, assistant director of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, to represent Nebraska in the Great Plains Interstate Fire Compact. Heineman approved the bill earlier this week.

The compact lets member states share their firefighters and equipment in an emergency without going through the federal government. The compact requires each state to choose a person who is responsible for forest fire control.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Al Davis of Hyannis, says pooling the states’ resources could lead to faster response times in remote and hard-to-reach areas of Nebraska.

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The bill is LB961

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