The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Fire Dawgs recently traveled to Roaring River State Park in Cassville, Mo., to get hands-on experience at the direction of Joel Topham, NEO alumnus and natural resource manager for the park.
“As a graduate from NEO myself, I am happy to know that the fire program is still going strong,” said Topham. “It will always be a welcome sight to have NEO here at Roaring River State Park. Your students lived out NEO’s mission. I saw a group working together for a common goal and purpose in service to others.”
In preparation for a 900 acre prescribed burn in the park, the Fire Dawgs created a gap in vegetation and combustible material that will act as a barrier for the fire. This gap, called a firebreak, is an important part of keeping prescribed burns under control.
“We are always grateful for the opportunity to engage in activities that provide the students with a hands-on learning experience,” said NEO Natural Resources Instructor Chase Fairweather. “The students were able to fully grasp, live and in-person, all the techniques I’ve been teaching them in the classroom. I’m so glad Joel reached out and hopefully this will be the start of a new and mutually beneficial partnership between NEO and Roaring River State Park.”
For more information about the natural resources program at NEO, contact Fairweather at Chase.Fairweather@neo.eduor call 918-540-6274.
(Photo from left: Brayden Craig, Cole Gaskey, Kyler Bloomfield, Dakota Handke, Ethan Sinor, Kurk Sloan,Hannah Jenkins, and Cody Womack)