Nebraska Forest Service’s Matt Holte talked about fighting wildfires and forest fires in Nebraska at Seward Rotary Club
Matt Holte of Seward, Fire Team Operations Leader with the Nebraska Forest Service, was the featured program on Wednesday, October 20, 2021.  He was introduced by the October Programs Co-Chair Rev. Scott Bruick.
Holte provided an overview on the Nebraska Forest Service and spoke about his role as the Fire Team Operations Leader.  His office is located at Forestry Hall on the UNL East Campus in Lincoln.  He began his career in 1997 with fires in northern Michigan and moved many times.  In 2017, he began working for the Nebraska Forest Service and moved to Seward.
The Nebraska Forest Service is the state forestry agency for the State of Nebraska.  The Nebraska Forest Service serves the citizens of Nebraska by operating with the mission to provide services related to the forestry agency.  A major mission of the Nebraska Forest Service is to provide resources to Nebraska citizens in the event of   wildfires. 
Holte supervises a staff of 13, both Fire and Fuel Staff.  The have a single engine air tanker and work with the Western States as well as the Rocky Mountain Coordinating Group managing Fire Resources.  He serves as the chair of the Rocky Mountain Coordinating Group. 
His duties include working on training the National Wildlife Group and manages six bases across the state.  His job includes implementing cost share programs for hazardous fuels reduction and works with CAFA Grants and Community Wildfire Protection Plans.  His work also includes pile burning with the US Forest Service.  He represents the Western States Fire Managers. 
Holte stated that last year the Community Assistance Direct to Fire Departments equaled $310,000 in Grants.  These grants are based on Fire Reports and they gave about 100 Fire Department grants last year.  Last year Nebraska reported only 55% of the 1500 actual Nebraska Wildfires last year (this does not include controlled burns).  He commented on “Private Burns” across the state of Nebraska and said his goal is to create a “certified burning program.”
He commented on his work with the Halsey National Forest and his longtime work with the forest.  He spoke on the “Tower” in the forest and presented an historical perspective on the forest and its history.
Holte's group offers a variety of class offerings and noted that the most popular classes include “Women with Chain Saws,” “Arbor Day,” “Reforestation,” and “Tree Planting.”  He commented that they have planted millions of trees under his watch.  To learn more, contact Matt Holte at 101 Forestry Hall, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0815, 402-472-6060 or