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And here I am in Lincoln, NE. We've had 2 light-to-medium snows this winter and that's it. It seems we get less and less moisture every year.

Historically the plains are very dry - that's why prairie grasses had such extensive root systems.
Fire kills the vascular tissue of trees, but not prairie, as up to 75% (depending on the species) of the total plant biomass is below the soil surface and will re-grow from its deep (up to 6 feet) roots.
These deep roots also help prairie plants to reach water in even the driest conditions. The grass suffers much less damage from dry conditions than the farm crops that have replaced many former plains.

I highly suggest anyone who hasn't already done so should read "The Worst Hard Time" about the dust bowl
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