NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) -Residents in Lincoln, Custer and Logan are still recovering from the Betty Way Fire, but now these residents are able to receive help from the USDA.

The Betty Way fire occurred Feb. 26 and burned 71,022 acres across Lincoln, Custer and Logan counties. The USDA has allocated funds and resources to help with the recovery. There are two kinds of assistance; One is for general uses, and the other is through the Primary Nesting Season.

USDA Lincoln County County Executive Director Bruce Solko said that these resources are at first come and first serve basis and that residents with any level of assistance will be served.

“The biggest thing if they got questions about these programs, is get in contact with our office to the NCRS Office,” Solko said. “We will do the best to guide them through what programs fit their situations. Everyone is unique on what has happened.”

The process for these measures is that cattle can have a place to stay and for them to be able to thrive, which includes providing them hay to feed their cattle, while ranchers can recover their lands and for them to grow back their crops.

“These acres have been opened up to allow people that were affected by the fire. To be able to hay or graze these acres. That allows for them to take hay off for their animals or allows for them a place for the animals go get to get them off the burn areas, “Solko said.

The period for residents that need some help will need to contact the USDA or NCRS (National Resource Conservation Service) office in their designated county. For the Primary Nesting Season, they have between May 1 through July 15 and for everything else through Jan. 30, 2025. More information regarding this program will be at their website.

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