DRIPTORCH DIGEST
A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
No. 27
December 2018
Happy Holidays from the Southeast Prescribed Fire Update!
As the year wraps up, we want to thank all of our readers for your interest in and dedication to prescribed fire. We wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, and a very happy New Year. 

We look forward to continuing to share all of your stories and events with the fire community in 2019!

Recent Climate Assessment Predicts Increasing Challenges
The Fourth National Climate Assessment released on Friday, November 23 indicates the wildland fire community and country at large will face increasing challenges due to climate change. In the Southeast specifically, rising temperatures and increased duration and intensity of droughts are expected to reduce the effectiveness of prescribed fire and increase the occurrence of wildfires. The full report, including sources and methods, can be accessed on the assessment website. Excerpts from the report related to wildland fire were included in a recent Wildfire Today post.

Image: Cumulative forest area burned by wildfires with and without climate change, 1984-2015
Credit: Wildfire Today, Adapted from Abatzoglou and Williams, 2016
Southeast Cohesive Fire Management Strategy
Florida Wildfire Severity Reduced by Recent Prescribed Burn

By: Holly Campbell, Southern Regional Extension Forestry and Joe Zwierzchowksi, Florida Forest Service

The latest Success Story covers the Weller Avenue wildfire, which began on May 7, 2018 southwest of Pensacola, FL. Despite suppression efforts by the Florida Forest Service, the fire burned 70 acres and threatened 20 homes in three neighborhoods within hours. However, wind shifts steered the fire into an area that had been recently prescribed burned. The diminished fuels in this area decreased the severity and spread of the fire and Florida Forest Service personnel were able to extinguish it.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems & Fire
The latest post on the Southeast Prescribed Fire Update Blog is a discussion with Steve Stroud, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Fleet Manager for the Department of the Interior's Office of Aviation Services. Steve discusses his background in wildland fire and experience using unmanned aircraft systems on wildland and prescribed fires. He also addresses the challenges involved in using aircraft systems in prescribed fire operations, specifically the need for education on the availability and capability of unmanned aircraft.

Image: An IGNIS PSD like the one used by DOI
Credit: Lou Lamberty, Drone Amplified, Inc.
Prescribed Fire Training Exchanges (TREX)
SBR Trex Participants at Gorges State Park, NC
Women's TREX 2019 Now Accepting Applications
A Women-in-Fire Prescribed Fire Training Exchange will be held at Tall Timbers Research Station outside Tallahassee, FL March 18-29, 2019. Applications are due by the end of the day Friday, January 4, 2019.

Southern Blue Ridge TREX Concludes
The Southern Blue Ridge TREX was held October 29-November 9, 2018, headquartered in Pickens, SC. Over 50 participants attended, and despite rain-related challenges crews conducted three burns, established 5 1/2 miles of handline, and completed prep work for ten future burns in the coming season. The TREX team worked on seven different partner lands across North and South Carolina. For additional information, media coverage, and pictures, check out the TREX website and Facebook page .

Share your TREX story!
Interested in telling your TREX story on the Southeast Prescribed Fire Update Blog? Contact us !

Fire Management Today Feature
The latest edition of Fire Management Today focuses on communities adapting to wildfire. Many fantastic programs and efforts are covered, with one article in particular highlighting the Prescribed Fire Training Exchange Program (TREX), and its success in facilitating training and knowledge sharing among prescribed fire professionals.

Image: SBR Trex participants at Gorges State Park, NC
Credit: Kristen Austin, TNC
Schenck Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center Trains Students for Wildland Fire Careers
A recent article profiled the USDA Forest Service-run Schenck Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center's advanced wildfire management program. Students come to the program from other Job Corps centers, which offer free vocational training for under-served youth. They then participate in a ten week program that includes NWCG courses, field exercises, and daily physical training. For additional information, visit the center website.

Image: Job Corps students help conduct a prescribed fire on the Croatan National Forest
Credit: Sam Lewis, USFS
Extension Connection
New Extension Wildland Fire Initiative
The Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals (ANREP) has designated a new Wildland Fire initiative. This initiative will aim to connect Extension professionals working on wildland fire issues to each other as well as to the broader wildland fire community. More information on initiative projects and goals will be available soon. In the meantime, Extension professionals interested in learning more about opportunities to become involved or fire professionals looking to better connect with their local Extension presence can contact Jennifer Fawcett or Laurel Kays
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network
Interview with Florida Forest Service Fire Chief John Fish
The FAC Net blog recently republished a 2017 interview with Florida Forest Service Fire Chief John Fish. Fish discusses many topics, including Florida's success in implementing prescribed fire across the state.
Southern Fire Exchange
Upcoming Webinars: Drought, Longleaf, and Remote Sensing
Upcoming webinars from the Southern Fire Exchange will address a variety of topics related to prescribed fire.


Fire and Hurricanes
The most recent edition of the Fire Lines newsletter featured research and resources covering fire after hurricane events, which may be useful to those impacted by recent hurricanes Florence and Matthew.

New Fact Sheets Now Available
The Southern Fire Exchange has published two new fact sheets. The first covers fire effects and management recommendations for quail, turkey, and deer. The second gives an overview of two online tools for weather information: the National Weather Service Enhanced Data Display and the State Climate Office of North Carolina Fire Weather Intelligence Portal.
Joint Fire Science Program
New Fire Learning Trail Updates
The Fire Learning Trail has added two new podcast-style episodes focusing on the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky. One episode features Alison Coons with the USDA Forest Service while the other features Dr. Pat Keyser of the University of Tennesse.

New Interagency Fuel Treatment Decision Support System (IFTDSS) Version Available
IFTDSS Version 3.1.1 is now available. A fact sheet was released to assist users, who can also participate in an ongoing survey to help improve and enhance future versions.
Funding Opportunities
2019 REPI Challenge
The Department of Defense Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Challenge is now accepting pre-proposals. The program may provide up to $15 million in FY19 for a variety of activities. Submit pre-proposals by Friday, January 25, 2019 at 8 PM ET.

Longleaf Stewardship Fund 2019
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is accepting grant proposals through the Longleaf Stewardship Fund through February 7, 2019 at 11:59 PM ET. Additional information can be found on the program website, and an informational webinar will be held on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at 2:00 PM ET. Registration for the webinar is required.

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.
Webinars, Video, and Other Media
Upcoming Webinars

Archived Webinars


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

Podcast Series

  • 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

  • Outside Podcast Episode: The Future of Fire - Explores the success of prescribed fire use in Florida, the many factors hindering its use to address fire issues in the West, and the possible solutions. 
  • Perspectives: Prescribed Burns - Kevin Hiers and Dr. Kevin Robertson (Tall Timbers) and Dr. David Godwin (Southern Fire Exchange at the University of Florida) join WFSU in Tallahassee, FL to discuss issues surrounding prescribed fire.
Upcoming Events, Training, and Networking
Prescribed Burner Certification Courses



  • Georgia - Courses offered by the Georgia Forestry Commission. The only currently scheduled course will take place on December 4-5 in Tifton, GA. More information is available on the program website.



  • March 5-7, 2019, Hattiesburg, MS
  • June 18-20, 2019, Pearl, MS
  • September 24-26, 2019, Starkville MS


Conferences, Workshops, Festivals and Other Events


  • December 6, 2018 - Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment Fire Learning Network, Oconee State Park, SC, RSVP by 12/3 to Kristen Austin

  • December 11, 2018 - Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains Fire Learning Network, Dahlonega, GA







  • 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.

Various Positions - Atlantic Wildfire Resources LLC, VA, NC, TN, and GA. Multiple short-term and "call when needed" positions are available. Some require application materials by Sunday, December 30, 2018. Email a resume or summary of work experience to Brandon Price at fire@wildlandforestry.com. Full position information is available here.

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 )
To share your prescribed fire information, stories, or events, contact us or
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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