DRIPTORCH DIGEST
A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
No. 28
January 2019
Southeast Cohesive Fire Management Strategy
Learn and Burn Workshops: Teaching Private Landowners to Use Prescribed Fire

By: Holly Campbell, Southern Regional Extension Forestry, Jennifer Fawcett and Laurel Kays, NC State Extension Forestry

The latest Success Story covers "learn and burns," workshops for private landowners or other audiences interested in learning more about using safe and effective prescribed fire. Since 2014, many organizations and the Southeast Partnership for Planning and Sustainability (SERPPAS) have supported 13 of these workshops across the Southeast. One of the most recent events held in Virginia in May 2018, attracted 24 participants who together own or manage 8,772 acres. A recently completed follow-up survey of participants at "learn and burns" between 2014 and 2017 indicated that these workshops are achieving their goal of encouraging attendees, particularly private landowners, to use or increase their use of prescribed fire. For more information on "learn and burns," visit the "learn and burn" toolkit page and watch the recording of a recent webinar on how to host a successful "learn and burn."
2018 National Prescribed Fire Use Survey Report
The National Association of State Foresters and the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils have released the 2018 National Prescribed Fire Use Survey Report. Compiled every three years, this report and the survey it is based on help gauge the use of prescribed fire across the country. Highlights from this report include a 12 percent decrease in the use of prescribed fire on forested acreage nationwide since 2011 and the addition of of the degree of liability as defined by state prescribed fire statutes.

Mark Melvin, the author of the report and Chair of the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils, will give a webinar on the report's findings on January 31 at 1:00 PM ET. Additional information about the webinar will be posted on the Southern Fire Exchange webinar page when available.
Prescribed Fire in Louisiana Marshes
A recent NOLA.com feature and New Orleans Public Radio segment covered the use of prescribed fire in southern Louisiana marsh ecosystems. While land managers have used fire in these areas for a long time, recent research has shown that this use does in fact boost wetland health and may even help fight against land loss.

Image: Heath Romero, land manager for the McIlhenny Co. sets a prescribed fire in a marsh near Avery Island, LA
Credit: Tristan Baurick, NOLA.com
Natural Areas Asociation Fire Compendium 2
The Natural Areas Association has released their second Fire Compendium, a compilation of articles on fire ecology and management published in the Natural Areas Journal between 2010 and 2017. The first NAA Fire Compendium was compiled in 2010 and included articles on fire ecology and management published between 1983 and 2009.

Prescribed Fire News Roundup
Devastating Wildfires Expected to be More Common in the Southeast Due to Climate Change
The Chatanooga Times Free Press covers what the Fourth National Climate Assessment says about the future of wildland fire and climate in the Southeast, specifically the Southern Appalachians.

Smokey Bear's World is on Fire. But the Old Mascot Won't Die.
Yahoo News takes a nuanced look at Smokey Bear, including why the mascot has remained popular and in use, and how his message must be contextualized, but remains important.

Stone Mountain is Meyer's Last Post
The Wilkes Journal-Patriot gives a retrospective on the career of retiring Stone Mountain State Park Superintendent Bill D. Meyer. Meyer oversaw the introduction of regular prescribed fire to the park, including a 611-acre burn in one of the park's most popular areas.

How Supercomputers Can Help Fix Our Wildfire Problem
Wired covers the potential of computing technology for addressing wildfires, including the use of FIRETEC, a program used to inform prescribed burns.
Corpsmembers on the Front Lines
For those seeking experience in wildland fire, including prescribed fire, the Corps Network can be an incredibly valuable experience. Last year alone, Corps responded to over 560 wildfires, a substantial increase over the 140 fires in 2014. A recent article highlighted various Corps' contribution to wildfire response, recovery, and mitigation efforts during the most recent fire season.

Image: Montana Conservation Corps and Southwest Conservation Corps members
Credit: Corps Network
Tall Timbers Research Station eNews Now Available
The Tall Timbers Fall 2018 eNews is now available. The latest issue includes stories on Hurricane Michael impacts, including coverage of forestland damage and bobwhite quail response, as well as many other topics of interest.

Image: Hurricane Michael Damage in the Albany, GA area
Credit: Tall Timbers
LANDFIRE

By: Jeannie Patton, Communications Lead, The Nature Conservancy
LANDFIRE Data Call: Submit Contrbutions by March 31
To ensure that data are current, LF relies heavily on contributions for mapping improvements and updates. To that end, LF issues an annual "data call"-your reminder of, or introduction to, this opportunity. LF's primary focus is on polygon disturbance and treatment activities that occurred in calendar years 2017 and 2018, with the goal of updating map layers in areas where vegetation and fuel have changed. The secondary focus is on vegetation/fuel plot data; while LF benefits from contributions of any point or polygon vegetation or fuel plot data, it relies on plot data for training sites for remapping projects. Click here for the announcement and links. 

Online Course for LANDFIRE ST-Sim Users
It’s time to register for the State-and-Transition-Simulation Modeling (ST-Sim) online course, offered by ApexRMS on March 19-20. The course establishes the fundamentals that people need to use the free ST-Sim software in order to develop spatially-explicit, integrated models of both landscape change and carbon dynamics. Apex is the developer of SyncroSim, the platform LANDFIRE uses for state-and-transition modeling.
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network
Communications at the Southern Blue Ridge TREX
Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists' Public Information Coordinator Jen Bunty authored a recent blog post about lessons learned working with nearby communities during the recent Southern Blue Ridge TREX. The region was greatly impacted by the 2016 wildfire season, and communication about prescribed fire and its role in Southern Appalachian ecosystems was essential, especially when planning burns near communities.

2018 Fire Adapted Video Review
As 2019 begins, take a few minutes to watch the top Fire Adapted Communities videos from 2018. Highlights include stories from the Women-in Fire Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (WTREX).
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
Southern Fire Exchange
June Duff Fire Science Workshop
The Southern Fire Exchange will host a duff fire science workshop on June 26, 2019 at Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve in Southern Pines, NC. More details and registration information will be available on our website soon.

Upcoming Webinars: Drought, Longleaf, and Remote Sensing
Upcoming webinars from the Southern Fire Exchange will address a variety of topics related to prescribed fire.

Joint Fire Science Program
Carbon Considerations: Insect Damage vs. Prescribed Fire
The North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange published a research brief comparing the long-term carbon impacts of insect damage and prescribed fire. The study covered in the brief found that prescribed burning does not strongly affect the long-term carbon balance of pitch pine forests, while gypsy moth defoliation did decrease the forest's ability to absorb carbon as a system over time.

Video: The Benefits of Burning
The Northwest Fire Science Consortium's new video showcases the role of prescribed fire in Oregon's dry forests.
Funding Opportunities
SERDP FY2020 Solicitation
The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program is accepting pre-proposals through January 8, 2019 at 2:00 PM ET. Full information is available on the program website, which includes a recording of an informational webinar for potential applicants.

2019 Wood Innovations Program
The U.S. Forest Service requests proposals to substantially expand and accelerate wood energy and wood products markets. Proposals are due by January 23, 2019.

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.

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





  • March 5-7, 2019, Hattiesburg, MS
  • 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


  • May 29-30, 2019 - Prescribed Fire in the Growing Season Advanced Prescribed Fire Workshop, Ellerbe, NC






  • 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.

Paid Internship - The Forest Stewards Guild is seeking a student or recent graduate to perform forestry tasks alongside US Fish and Wildlife service staff. Apply by 11:59 PM CT January 6 for best consideration. Additional details available here.

Various Positions - Atlantic Wildfire Resources LLC is seeking to expand their list of personnel to assist with contracted wildland fire projects in NC and VA. For additional information contact 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 and Listings
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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