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Four rural fire departments from the area took part in a practice burn Sunday morning. 

Crews from Beatrice Rural, DeWitt, Pickrell and Plymouth Fire Departments gathered early Sunday at a farmstead on West Hickory Road owned by the Roland Penner family to burn down an aging barn. 

More than 50 firefighters braved winter-like conditions (it was around 25 degrees with snow on the ground) to practice firefighting techniques. 

Matt Langley, assistant chief for Beatrice Rural Fire, said the training included several small fires to allow for more training exercises before crews ultimately worked to burn the structure down entirely. 

During the practice burn, crews also worked to protect another barn located in close proximity, spraying it down with water and monitoring the temperature of the walls in order to prevent any damage to the nearby structure. 

Once the practice was over crews used heavy machinery to spread the rubble and douse any existing hot spots with additional water. 

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