DRIPTORCH DIGEST
A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
No. 31
April 2019
Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability
Steering Committee Meeting Held in Atlanta, Principal's Meeting Planned for June
The Spring 2019 SERPPAS Steering Committee Meeting took place March 21 – 22, 2019 in Atlanta, GA and was well attended by SERPPAS members and partners. The first day consisted of an overview of the Good Map effort and outcomes that included information and needs to be presented to the SERPPAS Principals in June. Progress was presented on the compilation of a regional military mission footprint for the Southeast, the development of a region-wide prescribed fire tracking system, and an upcoming Coastal Resilience meeting hosted by SERPPAS and the Sea Grant programs in the Southeast. More information on these efforts can be found in the SERPPAS Good Map White Paper. The meeting also focused on the upcoming SERPPAS Principal’s Meeting which will take place on June 4-5, 2019 at Fort Rucker, Alabama. 

SERPPAS 101 Webinar
SERPPAS will host a "SERPPAS 101" webinar in advance of the June Principal's Meeting. While the date has yet to be announced, the webinar will focus on educating partners about the history, current efforts, and future direction of SERPPAS. The webinar will be recorded and made available on the SERPPAS website.
Women-In-Fire Training Exchange (WTREX) Provides Prescribed Fire Training and Leadership Opportunities in Florida

The 3rd WTREX took place from March 18-29, 2019 at Tall Timbers Research Station in Tallahassee, Florida. WTREX engages women and men in building a support network for fire practitioners working to advance their leadership in wildland fire management.

More than 45 women and men from all over the world came together for two weeks in March for prescribed burning training opportunities, to gain new skills and experience while helping create fire-safe communities, restore resilient forests, and improve native plant and wildlife habitats. Approximately 635 acres were burned on 24 units, and many participants were able to receive final evaluations for their NWCG taskbooks. Several media stories and news reports were posted about the event. More information will be provided in the May newsletter.
Southeast Prescribed Fire and Smoke Management Summit IV Builds Regional Collaboration Based on Partnerships and Science

Written by: Dr. David Godwin, Director, Southern Fire Exchange
In late February, representatives from eight southeast state forestry and environmental air quality agencies and other key stakeholders gathered at the Joseph W. Jones Center at Ichauway in southwest Georgia, to discuss prescribed fire smoke management issues and exchange information and ideas on how to achieve prescribed fire and air quality goals. In addition to the state forestry and air quality agency attendees, representatives from two local air quality agencies (Miami/Dade County, FL and Charlotte/Mecklenburg County, NC), the Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF), Southeast Air Pollution Control Agencies (SESARM), North Carolina State University Extension, Southern Fire Exchange (SFE), the southern region of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC), the US Forest Service, the US EPA, and the Jones Center attended the Summit to share local, regional and national perspectives on prescribed fire and smoke management issues. SFE provided an update on recent smoke and air quality science programs and committed to delivering additional prescribed fire 101 and air quality 101 webinars over the next two years. Collectively the group committed to investigating interest in a future week-long gathering that would dive deeper into the science and practice of air quality monitoring and prescribed fire planning.

Image: Mark Melvin from the Jones Center explains the process of planning for a prescribed fire.
Credit: Dr. David Godwin
National Park Service Releases Wildland Fire and Aviation Management Accomplishment Story Map
The National Park Service has released a story map showing the accomplishments of its fire management in the Southeast in 2018. The map highlights activities from across the Southeast, including Everglades National Park, Cumberland Island National Seashore, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
American Forest Foundation Releases Report on Landowner Understanding of Longleaf
The American Forest Foundation has released a report summarizing the results of a study about landowner's understanding, knowledge, and behaviors around longleaf restoration. The study found, in part, that the American Tree Farm system is an effective tool in encouraging longleaf restoration, as those landowners not participating in Tree Farm often do not feel they have the tools and resources to restore longleaf on their land.

Image: Graph showing differences in understanding of longleaf restoration financial assistance agencies
Credit: American Forest Foundation
Research Paper Summarizes Impacts of Prescribed Fire on Water Quality in Eastern North America
A paper authored by Virginia Tech, Continental Conservation, and Clemson University researchers and published in the Natural Areas Journal summarizes the known impacts of prescribed fire on water quality in moist-temperate eastern North America. In part, the paper finds that prescribed fire in eastern forests tends to cause minimal change in forest soil properties, and in some cases may enhance water quality.
Fire Learning Network
State Line Burn: Collaboration Across the Border of North and South Carolina
The recent edition of the Fire Learning Network's Notes from the Field featured an interview with Brian Browing by Dr. Cynthia Fowler and Kaycia Best. Brian Browning is the fire management officer for the Nantahala Ranger District of the Nantahala National Forest. Dr. Cynthia Fowler is a professor of anthropology and the chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Kaycia Best is a student at Wofford College, double majoring in sociology-anthropology and biology.

The interview covers the background, planning process, challenges, and lessons learned from the State Line burn. The State Line burn was 1,762 acres, with 956 of that in North Carolina and 806 in South Carolina.
Extension Connection
Driptorch Digest, Southern Fire Exchange, and NC State Extension Recognized by Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals
The Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals has released its annual awards. The Driptorch Digest was recognized with the Gold Award for Newsletters or Series of Articles. A webinar on planning "learn and burn" workshops, co-hosted by the Southern Fire Exchange and NC State University, received the Gold Award for Televised Conference, Video Conference, or Webinar.

Lake James Prescribed Fire Demonstration & Workshop
Partners including North Carolina State University Extension Forestry hosted a "Good Fire" in the Mountains prescribed fire demonstration and workshop. The workshop educated participants from the communities surrounding Lake James State Park about the park's use of prescribed fire and other topics. In the afternoon, participants were able to watch NC State Parks staff conduct a prescribed burn. A video of the workshop was also produced.

Image: Lake James workshop participants watch the beginning of the demonstration burn
Credit: Laurel Kays, NC State Extension
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network
Fire Adapted Communities Logo
Stop Focusing on Ignitions and Start Investing in a Prescribed Fire Workforce
TNC's Jeremy Bailey authored a motivating and challenging piece on the need to prioritize a dedicated prescribed fire workforce to address the wildland fire and land management issues we currently face.

Why We’re Bringing Prescribed Fire and Forest Thinning Closer to Traditionally Preserved Wildlife Habitat
While forest management for community wildfire protection and wildlife are often at odds in the Western US, community forester Forst Schafer argues that does not need to be the case.
Southern Fire Exchange
Southern Fire Exchange Logo
Fire Lines Volume 9 Issue 1 Now Available
The latest issue of Fire Lines is now available and includes updates from SFE, fire science news from around the region, the latest tools and technology for fire science, and much more!

SFE Hiring Outreach Specialist
SFE is accepting applications for an Outreach Specialist position through Friday, April 19. The position will last for one year, with the potential to continue pending additional funding.
Upcoming Webinar
SFE has one currently scheduled webinar. Mapping Burned Areas from the Landsat Archive will be co-hosted with the U.S. Geological Survey, Tall Timbers Research Station, and the University of Florida on April 24, 2019 from 1:00-2:30 PM ET. Registration is free and required.
Prescribed Fire News Roundup
Hot Seat: NFPA Conversation with USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen
The latest edition of the National Fire Protection Association Journal features an interview with USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen.

North Carolina Longleaf Honor Roll Accepting Nominations
The North Carolina Longleaf Honor Roll is a recognition program for private landowners managing for longleaf pine who have a forest management plan, actively manage using prescribed fire, and reduce negative impacts from pine straw production. The Honor Roll is actively seeking nominations for 2019.

Can Americans Change their Cultural Relationship to Fire?
Authors discuss the "wicked problem" of wildland fire, including the history of fire suppression in the United States, the complexities that contribute to wildland fire issues today, and how the way forward will require education and cooperation between stakeholders.

Study: Climate Change, Fire Suppression Led to California Megafires
A recent study used climate data to find that climate change and fire suppression led to the 2018 California megafires.

Prescribed Burns Could Help Cleanup Hurricane Debris
Florida is hoping to use prescribed fires to help clean up the downed timber left behind by 2018's Hurricane Michael.
Joint Fire Science Program
2019 JFSP Funding Opportunity Announcements Now Open
The JFSP Funding Opportunity Announcements are open through 5:00 PM MT on May 16. Funding is available for the following categories:

  1. Graduate Research Innovation
  2. Effectiveness of fuel breaks and fuel break systems
  3. Reducing damages and losses to values resources from wildfire
  4. Regional Fire Science Exchange

Full FOAs are available on the JFSP website. Consult the JFSP Proposal Preparation Tips to ensure a smooth submission process.
Upcoming Fire Conferences Now Accepting Proposals
2019 Fire Congress Call for Proposals
The 8th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress that will be held November 18-22, 2019 in Tucson, AZ is now accepting proposals. Submission deadlines range from April 1 to August 20 depending on proposal type.
National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop Call for Proposals
The Third Annual National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop will be held October 21-24 in Plymouth, MA. The deadline for submissions is July 1.
Funding Opportunities
Close-up of $100 bills
2019 JFSP Funding Opportunity Announcements Now Open
The JFSP Funding Opportunity Announcements are open through 5:00 PM MT on May 16. Full FOAs are available on the JFSP website.

NFWF Acres for America RFP
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is accepting pre-proposals for the Acres for America program through 11:59 PM ET on April 17.

IAWF Student Scholarships
The International Association of Wildland Fire will be awarding two graduate-level scholarships of $3,000 each to IAWF members who are Master of Science/Arts (MSc/MA) or Doctoral (PhD) students studying wildland fire or wildland fire related topics. Applications are due by April 19.

Prescribed Fire and Habitat Management Assistance in North Florida
Wildland Restoration International is available to help public and private landowners and land managers in Florida with prescribed fire and habitat management. WRI is specifically reaching out to private landowners receiving cost share funding from NRCS for prescribed burning who need help getting their contracts completed. Landowners are eligible in the counties of Levy, Alachua, Putnam, Marion, Flagler, Volusia, Lake, Sumter, Hernando, Polk, Osceola, Manatee, Hardee, and Highlands.  If you are interested, contact WRI Fire Program Coordinator Ryan Kennelly at  ryan.kennelly@wildlandrestoration.org or 352-373-0550.

Travel, Research, and Educational Experience (TREE) Grants
The Association for Fire Ecology (AFE) will distribute Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) TREE grants. These are designed to help graduate students travel to present at conferences and workshops related to fire science and management. Applications are due 60 days before the start of the event the applicant would like to attend. Additional information and application link are available on the  AFE website
Webinars, Video, and Other Media
Archived Webinars


More recorded webinars on a variety of fire topics can be found on the Southern Fire Exchange webinar page, the Oak Woodlands and Forests Fire Consortium webinar page, and the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Manager and Scientists webinars and presentations page .
Podcasts & Radio

Podcast Series

  • Learn, Baby, Burn - This new podcast from the Michigan Prescribed Fire Council will cover a variety of prescribed fire topics.
  • The Fire Learning Trail - Introduces listeners to the role of fire in the Southern Appalachians, wildland firefighting, and local history
  • On The Line - Covers topics of interest to wildland firefighters, including mental health, the pack test, and health considerations.
  • Forest Voices - Covers forest stewardship and management topics, including prescribed fire.

Single Episodes

Upcoming Events, Training, and Networking
Prescribed Fire Council Meetings

  • North Georgia - June 6, 2019, Chattahoochee Technical College Appalachian Campus, Jasper, GA. Registration is currently open.

  • North Carolina - August 14-15, 2019, Swansboro, NC. This meeting will be a joint meeting with the NC Longleaf Coalition. More details coming soon.

  • Alabama - September 5, 2019, Jefferson State Community College Chilton-Clanton Campus, Clanton, AL More information and registration coming soon.
Prescribed Burner Certification Courses




  • April 17-18, 2019, Moultrie, GA
  • October 1-2, 2019, Statesboro, GA
  • December 3-4, 2019, Jasper, GA

  • Louisiana - Courses are offered periodically, with one taking place June 4-6 in DeRidder, LA. Contact Keith Hawkins for more information.


  • June 18-20, 2019, Pearl, MS
  • September 24-26, 2019, Starkville MS



Conferences, Workshops, Festivals and Other Events










  • May 14-16, 2019 - Southern Blue Ridge Fire Learning Network, Athens, TN






















  • Ongoing - Fire in the Field, This intermediate firefighter training program (equivalent to NWCG S-131, S-133, and S-231 courses, as well as the G-131 course) is designed to prepare the Firefighter 2 (FFT2) to move to the Firefighter 1 (FFT1) position. 
Job Postings
All jobs are open as of the Driptorch Digest send date, however application reviews may have begun.

Outreach Specialist - The Southern Fire Exchange is accepting applications through Friday, April 19 for a position located at Tall Timbers, with a possibility of working remotely with occasional travel to Tall Timbers.

Veterans Fire Corps - The Student Conservation Association is accepting applications from post-9/11-era US military veterans for its Fire Corps internships. Additional information and the application portal can be found on the  program website.

Various Positions -  Wildland Restoration International  is currently recruiting conservation-minded, NWCG-qualified staff for the following prescribed fire and ecosystem restoration team positions. Please    visit their website  for more information and application instructions.  WRI also has a   subscription option that will notify you by email of job announcements and training opportunities.


Fire Ecology Internships - The Fire Ecology Program at Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy in Tallahassee, FL seeks to provide field and laboratory experience for college students and recent graduates in the areas of plant ecology, ecosystem ecology, and fire ecology and science. Most internships last 12-16 weeks and are largely fieldwork based. Summer interns work from May-August and Fall interns work from October-December.   Get full details and application instructions here.

Online Job Boards 
Partner Newsletters
Find more fire-related information from our friends & partners!

Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers & Scientists Newsletter ( current edition )
Department of Defense Natural Selections Newsletter  ( current edition )
Fire Learning Network  Networker  ( current edition )
Forest Stewards Guild After Wildfire: News & Networking ( current edition  and  subscription link )
Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks LCC Newsletter ( current edition )
Joint Fire Science Program  Fire Science Digest  ( current and archived editions )
LANDFIRE Bulletin & Post Card  (   current edition and subscription form   )
Partners for Conservation News ( current news and subscription form )
REPI Program Newsletter ( current edition and subscription form )
SERPPAS Circular ( current edition )
South Atlantic LCC Newsletter ( current edition )
Southeast Region Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy  (   current edition   )
Southern Fire Exchange  Firelines  Newsletter  ( current edition and subscription link )
Tall Timbers  eNews  and  eJournal
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center Two More Chains  ( current edition )
Contact us to share your prescribed fire information, stories, or events!
Jennifer Fawcett
NC State Extension Forestry
Extension Associate
SERPPAS Prescribed Fire Working Group Coordinator
919-515-8288

Laurel Kays
NC State Extension Forestry
Extension Assistant
919-513-2573

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