DRIPTORCH DIGEST
A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
No. 40
January 2020
Happy New Year!
We would like to wish all of our SERPPAS Prescribed Fire Working Group partners and friends a safe, and happy 2020! We continually look forward to working with each of you, and growing the safe and effective use of prescribed fire together across the South.
 
Thank you for all that you do!

From the coordination team,
Jenn Fawcett & Laurel Kays
Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability

Upcoming Events
The SERPPAS Spring 2020 Steering Committee Meeting will be held March 4-5 in Atlanta, GA, while the 2020 Principals Meeting will be held May 12-13 in Beaufort, NC. SERPPAS will be celebrating 15 years of partnership in 2020! Logistics and more information can be found on the SERPPAS website.
Virginia Prescribed Fire Council Releases Prescribed Fire Primer

The Virginia PFC has released Beyond the Bonfire: A Primer on Prescribed Fire for Virginia's Private Landowners. The primer includes information on Virginia prescribed burning laws, burn planning, fire weather, and much more.
State Forestry by the Numbers

The latest statistics report on the nation’s state forestry agencies is now available. The National Association of State Foresters has released a report on data and analysis from the
2018 NASF State Forestry Statistics Survey. The report covers a wide variety of forestry topics, including wildland fire management. According to the report, wildfire programs reported a slight increase in expenditures of $42 million or 2% for 2018 vs. 2016. Acres under wildfire protection by state forestry
agencies in 2018 totaled 1.59 billion acres. Of the 50 member states, 46 state forestry agencies managed nearly 12.5 million acres of prescribed fire in 2018. 
Longleaf Creatures Story Map

Partners including USDA NRCS have released a new story map that allows users to discover some of the species that call the longleaf pine ecosystem home. Examples of species covered by the story map include the gopher tortoise, eastern indigo snake, and gopher frog.
New Videos: Longleaf for the Long Run, WTREX, Presentation Recordings

New videos recently released that address topics relevant to the prescribed fire community include:




New Smoke Sense Data Visualization Tool

The EPA has released a new data visualization tool to accompany the Smoke Sense app. Smoke Sense is a research project that enables citizen scientists to engage with a mobile app to explore current and forecast maps of air quality, learn about how to protect health from wildfire smoke, and record their smoke experiences, health symptoms, and behaviors taken to reduce their exposures to smoke.

The new data visualization tool displays data related to the impacts of wildfire smoke reported by citizen scientists, including the number of app users, where participants report smoke and health observations, and reported responses to smoke. Want to learn more? Watch this video to learn about Smoke Sense and why the study uses a mobile application.
Federal Government Publications: Managing Drought Effects, GAO Report on Wildland Fire

Two new government publications related to prescribed fire have been released. The first, Effects of Drought on Forests and Rangelands in the United States: Translating Science into Management Responses, was published by the USDA Forest Service. Chapter Nine of the document, Managing Effects of Drought in the Southeast United States, frequently addresses prescribed fire and wildfire management.

The second publication, Wildland Fire: Federal Agencies' Efforts to Reduce Wildland Fuels and Lower Risk to Communities and Ecosystems, was released by the Government Accountability Office. The report includes methods federal agencies use to reduce fuels, information agencies considered in allocating fuel reduction funds, and factors affecting agency efforts to implement fuel reduction projects.
Southeast Fire Science News

Several news stories have been released recently covering exciting new fire science relevant to the Southeast. The include:



Extension Connection
Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals 2020 Conference Registration
The biennial ANREP conference will be held May 3-6, 2020 in Bend, Oregon. Registration is now open. Two special sessions and the post-conference field tour (held on May 7) will be focused on Extension's role in wildland fire management.

Oregon Seeks Leaders for New Wildland Fire Extension Program
In 2019, Oregon State University Extension Service created a new statewide program to help address wildland fire issues across the state. OSU is seeking to fill the first two positions in the program; a Fire Program Manager and an Extension Specialist in Widlland Fire Science & Management.
Southern Fire Exchange

New Issue of Fire Lines Newsletter Released
Volume 9, Issue 5 of SFE's Fire Lines newsletter is now available. The newsletter includes news, upcoming events, and newly released tools and technology relevant to the Southern fire science community.

Webinar Schedule and Recent Recordings
All SFE webinars, including the recent Preparing for Wildfires with Firescaping - Master Gardener Training for the Southeast webinar held on October 17, are recorded and posted on the SFE Youtube page. SFE currently has one upcoming webinar, which requires free registration:

Presenters: Scott Davis (EPA R4), Heidi LeSane, (EPA R4), Rick Gillam (EPA R4), Jim Boylan (GA DNR EPD), Randy Strait (NC DEQ AQ), and Jenn Fawcett (SERPPAS/NCSU)
January 30, 1:00 - 2:30 PM ET
Prescribed Fire News Roundup
How a tribal fire crew rescued the real Smokey Bear
December 31, 2019- The USDA Forest Service shares the story of Smokey's rescue by The Taos Pueblo Snowball crew from a wildfire in New Mexico in 1950.

WTREX provides prescribed fire training for women
December 1, 2019- Wildfire Today covers the benefits of the Women-in-Fire Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (WTREX) program.

Congresswoman urges Smokey Bear to 'modernize' pitch
December 30, 2019 - The Minnesota Star Tribune notes comments by a St. Paul Congresswoman urging for Smokey Bear's message to modernize and include recognition of the need for beneficial fire.

Forest watchers question Chattahoochee forest project
December 31, 2019 - The Athens Banner-Herald addresses push-back on a large-scale project, including prescribed burning, planned for the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Not everything needs to be a forest
December 4, 2019 - Anthropocene Magazine addresses how grasslands and savannas are too often viewed as degraded forests, including how fire suppression allows forest to encroach on these ecosystems.

Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers firefighters indispensable during prescribed burns in North Carolina
December 13, 2019 - A USDA Forest Service website article gives an overview of how Job Corps firefighters contribute to prescribed burning in North Carolina.

SC's Francis Marion forest is set aflame on purpose, but some worry about methods
November 22, 2019 - The Post and Courier covers contention over South Carolina's Francis Marion National Forest's prescribed burning methods.

California, climate change and the trauma of the last decade
December 29, 2019 - Phys.org addresses how climate change has amplified wildfires, storms, and other events, particularly in California.

2019 has been especially bad for wildfires across the planet
December 27, 2019 - Huffington Post notes that 2019 was once again a notable year for wildfire activity, driven in large part by climate change impacts.
Funding Opportunities
Close-up of $100 bills
REPI Challenge Pre-Proposals
The 2020 REPI Challenge Pre-Proposal Form is now available, with the Challenge open to all eligible partners at DoD installations. Pre-proposals are due on Friday, January 24 by 8:00 PM EST. Full information can be found on the program website.

Enviva Forest Conservation Fund
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) is seeking applications for the 2020 Enviva Forest Conservation Fund. Projects may receive up to $500,000, and applications are due January 24, 2020 at 5:00 PM EST.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Community Grants
SFI is accepting proposals for the Community Grants program, which promotes collaboration with the SFI Network to support local communities’ understanding of the value and benefits of sustainably managed forests. Proposals are due by Friday, January 31 by 11:50 PM EST.

National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Longleaf Stewardship Fund
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has announced the release of the   2020 request for proposals  under the Longleaf Stewardship Fund. This request for proposals (RFP) expects to award up to $5.5 million in federal and private sector funding in support of projects that restore, enhance and maintain longleaf pine on private and public lands to improve wildlife habitat and water quality. Full proposals are due Thursday, February 6, 2020 by 11:59 PM EST .

National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has announced the release of the   2020 request for proposals under the Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund. Up to $1.5 million is expected to be available this funding cycle for projects that will help accelerate the restoration and enhancement of critical forest and freshwater habitats and associated wildlife species in the region. Full proposals are due Thursday, February 20, 2020 by 11:59 PM EST .

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications from land-grant institutions and others for funding from the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. Forest landowners may be considered beginning farmers and landowners, and applications are due by March 16.

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
Job Postings
All jobs are open as of the Driptorch Digest send date, however application reviews may have begun.

Burn Crew Leader - The Nature Conservancy is accepting applications for burn crew leaders for the Southern Blue Ridge Burn Crew and the crew operating on and around the Talladega National Forest. Applications for the Southern Blue Ridge position are due by January 10. Applications for the Alabama position are due January 11.

Oregon Wildland Fire Extension Positions - Oregon State University is hiring two positions for its newly formed Fire Extension Program - a program manager to manage day-to-day operations, and an assistant or associate professor faculty position to focus on program development and delivery. Applications will be accepted through January 30, but those interested should apply by January 17 for full consideration. 

Research Position - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development is seeking a candidate to engage in research projects aimed at assessing the environmental effects of wildfire and prescribed fire, and characterizing community risks and vulnerabilities.  Applications are due by February 6, 3:00 PM EST.

Assistant Professor of Forest Health and Fire Protection - Alabama A&M University is hiring for a nine-month academic appointment with additional three-month summer employment available and expected. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis.

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.

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 
Webinars, Video, and Other Media
Recent Archived Webinars


More recorded webinars on a variety of wildand fire-related 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 Managers and Scientists webinars and presentations page .
Podcasts & Radio

Podcast Series

  • Good Fire Podcast - Covers the indigenous use of "good fire" is used around the globe.
  • Learn, Baby, Burn - Created by the Michigan Prescribed Fire Council, this podcast 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.

Past single podcasts and other resources can be found here.
Upcoming Events, Training, and Networking
Prescribed Fire Council Meetings

  • North Florida - March 24, Marianna, FL. More details will be available soon, and registration will open approximately one month before the meeting.

  • Central Florida - October 2, Kissimmee, FL. More details will be available soon, and registration will open approximately one month before the meeting.
Prescribed Burner Certification Courses





  • Louisiana - Courses are offered through LSU Cooperative Extension Service. None are currently scheduled.





Conferences, Workshops, Festivals and Other Events











  • March 10-11 - Forest Economic Contributions Summit, New Orleans, LA

  • March 12-20 - Alto Minho TREX, Porto, Portugal


  • March 22-April 4 - Loup TREX, Central Nebraska



  • March 30-April 10 - Women-in-Fire TREX (WTREX), Southeastern VA






  • May 19-21 - Southern Blue Ridge FLN, Dillard, GA



  • October 26-30, 2020 - 4th Annual National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop, Asheville, NC

  • October 26-November 6 - Southern Blue Ridge TREX, Pickens, SC

  • 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. 
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

Additional content and resources can also be found by visiting our website and by following us on:

Facebook at Southeast Rx Fire and
Twitter @SE_RxFire