A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
No. 30
March 2019
Southeast Cohesive Fire Management Strategy
Large Partnership Prescribed Burns at Flint Rock Preserve

Two large prescribed burns totaling 14,668 acres took place in southern Jefferson and Wakulla counties, Florida. These burns took place across private, state, and federal ownership boundaries, largely on the Flint Rock Preserve. Preparation for the burns and the burns themselves were made possible by the cooperative efforts of the Apalachicola Regional Stewardship Alliance Longleaf Implementation Team (ARSA LIT). That group allows partners to tackle projects that would be too large or difficult to carry out individually, and this approach has enabled the alliance to receive over $1.75 million in grant funding. Read the full story here.
Image: ARSA partners post-burn, including staff from The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Credit: David Printiss, The Nature Conservancy
Texas Groups Form Prescribed Fire Council

Written by: Dr. Morgan Treadwell, Assistant Professor and Extension Range Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Recently, on February 13, 2019, 80 fire practitioners from across the entire state of Texas spent the day at Texas A&M Forest Service in College Station collaborating to form the Texas Prescribed Fire Council. Over 70 different local, state, and federal agency representatives as well as landowners, prescribed burn associations, and Texas Department of Agriculture Certified and Insured Prescribed Burn Managers voted unanimously to form a unified voice on prescribed fire in the state of Texas. This is a first step for Texas to formally vote on forming a council for future membership in the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils. A temporary steering committee consisted of 16 members will finalize a draft of the mission statement, goals, and objectives of the council to be voted on at the next Texas Prescribed Fire Council meeting. 

Image: Collaborators at the formation of the Texas Prescribed Fire Council
Credit: Dr. Morgan Treadwell
Inaugural Flatwoods Fire & Nature Festival

Written By: Ivor Kincaide, Director of Land Stewardship, Alachua Conservation Trust
Nearly every state and federal agency and non-profit involved with prescribed burning in north Florida assembled at the University of Florida's Ausin Cary Forest in Gainesville, FL on January 26, 2019 to host the inaugural Flatwoods Fire and Nature Festival. Staff and volunteers from the Florida Forest Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC), the University of Florida, the St. Johns River Water Management District, Alachua Conservation Trust, the Southern Fire Exchange, the North Florida Prescribed Burn Association, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and many more contributed to provide exhibits, games, information for private landowners, and even two real, live prescribed burns with printed burn plans for the public to see.

More than 700 people came out to enjoy the festivities, which included wild animals that depend on fire-dependent habitat, the opportunity to use and get to know fire equipment, live music, food trucks and of course, the two burns! The educational goal for all those involved was sharing the many benefits that come to land managed with fire with a lot of focus on wildlife and wildlife habitat. FWCC staff and volunteers surveyed 234 visitors and the results suggested that more than half of the visitors to the event had no prior experience with prescribed fire and felt the festival increased their understanding of why prescribed fire is used. Everyone is excited about doing it again in January 2021.

Image: Festival attendees stop at the North Florida Prescribed Burn Association Booth
Credit: Ashley Lynn Pardee
NWCG Launches YouTube Channel
The National Wildfire Coordinating Group has launched a YouTube channel. The channel will provide a variety of content, including WFSTAR, training courses, and wildland fire leadership development videos. Those with questions can contact Travis Touchette.

Image: NWCG YouTube Channel
Credit: NWCG
Prescribed Fire News Roundup
Using Prescribed Fire to Restore and Sustain Oak Ecosystems
USDA Forest Service scientist Callie Schweitzer and Northern Research Station research forester Daniel Dey collaborated to review current science on the long-term impacts of using prescribed fire to manage oak forests and woodlands. The review was published in Forests.

For a Warming World, a New Strategy in Protecting Watersheds
As climate change impacts intensify, watershed protection and restoration tactics are shifting. Protection and restoration projects often include prescribed fire, particularly in the increasingly arid western US.

Wet Weather, Limited Burning Leads to Increase in Brown Spot Needle Blight
Landowners in North Carolina and other states may see an increase in brown spot needle blight in newly established longleaf stands. The best control for the disease is prescribed fire in January or February, but record rainfall amounts have hampered burning efforts in North Carolina and across the South.

Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center Essay Collection: The View From Here
The Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center has released a collection of 16 essays, titled The View From Here. Various authors address how and why some ingrained wildland fire practices and perspectives must be altered.

NC State Longleaf Restoration Projects
NC State University professors are working to rejuvenate a rare stand of mature longleaf pine, some of which date back to the early 20th century. The project, a primary component of which is prescribed fire, also serves as a teaching tool for students.

Why There are Challenges to Doing More Prescribed Burns as Part of Forest Management
National Public Radio's All Things Considered covered the challenges in increasing the use of prescribed fire in California.
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network
Fire Adapted Communities Logo
Facilitative Leadership: Concepts Every Wildland Fire Leader Can use
A two-day Facilitative Leadership for Social Change workshop gave a diverse group of fire professionals the opportunity to learn and reflect on how to best effect social change.

Wildfire Smoke Resilience Resources From the EPA
Get up to speed on the risks from wildfire smoke and resources available from the EPA to address those risks.

How the Forest Stewards Guild is Building the Next Generation of Fire Practitioners
The most recent Forest Stewards Guild's Forest Stewards Youth Corps Fire and Fuels Program trained young people interested in wildland fire careers. The ups and downs of the training program, which included NWCG coursework certifications, pack testing, and work as a hand crew on US Forest Service lands, taught valuable lessons to both the participants and course administrators.
Extension Connection
Learn and Burn Workshops
Extension Professionals and others from across the Southeast have helped organize learn and burn workshops for private landowners this prescribed burn season. On February 5, 2019 partners including NC State Extension Forestry, NC Forest Service, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NC Prescribed Fire Council, and National Wild Turkey Federation hosted a learn and burn workshop in Bladen County, NC. More than 25 private landowners and consultants came to learn about and gain experience using prescribed fire. The morning classroom session included presentations from agency personnel on reasons for burning, financial assistance, laws and liability, fire weather, and burning techniques. In the afternoon, participants and organizers headed to the Suggs Mill Pond Game Lands, where participants conducted a prescribed burn on a 29 acre longleaf tract under the supervision of experienced burn mentors.

At the Orianne Indigo Snake Preserve near Lumber City, GA on February 8, a "learn and burn" was hosted by Southern Regional Extension Forestry, the Orianne Society, Georgia Forestry Commission, Longleaf Alliance, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability. The event followed a similar format to the North Carolina event, with 15 landowners attending to hear presentations on prescribed burning topics in the morning and conduct a prescribed burn under the supervision of experienced burn mentors.

Image: NC learn and burn participants help conduct a prescribed burn under the supervision of their burn mentor
Credit: Jennifer Fawcett, NC State Extension

Written by Jeannie Patton, Communications Lead, The Nature Conservancy
LANDFIRE Remap Released
The much-anticipated new LANDFIRE base map, LF Remap, has just been released and is ready to use. The first of 10 incremental releases, it offers Topographic products for CONUS, as well as Disturbance, Vegetation, and Fuel products for the Northwest GeoArea. The Southeast GeoArea comes online in early 2020; data for this area are still being collected. Both the Remap news and the Data Call are covered in detail in the February LANDFIRE postcard.  
LANDFIRE Seeks Southeast Applications
LANDFIRE is looking for applications in the Southeast. We strive to update the LF Web-Hosted Application Map (aka the “WHAM!”) regularly and want to feature more uses of LF tools and data. Use Firefox or Chrome to open the map, then contact Jeannie Patton to talk about your LF application. We regularly do interviews with “super users” that are included in monthly postcards and on the “ Applications” page on the Conservation Gateway website as well.  
Southern Fire Exchange
Southern Fire Exchange Logo
Longleaf Challenge Connects Scouts, Adults, and Fire
How do you get 200 Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and adult volunteers excited about longleaf pine forestry, ecology and management? You set things on fire. In early February partners from across North Florida and South Georgia came together to host the second biennial Longleaf Challenge event at Wallwood Boy Scout Reservation in Gadsden county, Florida. The three-day event was led by a planning team with members representing the Suwannee River Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, The Nature Conservancy, Southern Fire Exchange, Florida Forest Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Over the course of three-days, middle and high school youth learned to identify trees within the longleaf pine ecosystem, scoped an active gopher tortoise burrow, planted longleaf pines, aged deer jawbones, planted native groundcover, competed in firehose relay race, operated various prescribed fire ignition devices, assessed structural wildfire risk factors, watched a live-feed from a UAV thermal camera, and learned about careers in forestry and natural resources. For Boy Scouts, the event was designed to accomplish the requirements for the forestry merit badge. The highlight of the day was a 1-acre demonstration prescribed fire that was narrated and led by The Nature Conservancy North Florida Prescribed Fire Team. This event was supported by a grant from the Longleaf Stewardship Fund from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to the Apalachicola Regional Stewardship Alliance. For more information about the Longleaf Challenge contact David Godwin or Brian Pelc
Webinar Rescheduled
Webinars from the Southern Fire Exchange address a variety of topics related to prescribed fire. The Mapping burned areas from the Landsat archive webinar that was postponed due to the partial federal government shutdown has now been rescheduled for Wednesday, April 24 at 1:00 PM ET. Registration is required and now open."

Image: A briefing is given before the demonstration prescribed burn at the Longleaf Challenge
Credit: David Godwin, Southern Fire Exchange
Joint Fire Science Program
The Role of Composition and Particle Size on the Toxicity of Wildfire Emissions
The latest Joint Fire Science Program-supported study examined the toxicity of wildfire emissions from five biomass fuels (oak, peat, pine needles, pine, and eucalyptus) in flaming and smoldering phases. Key findings from the study include:

  1. Peat and eucalyptus smoke produces equivalent toxicity between flaming and smoldering conditions despite tenfold lower PM concentrations for flaming
  2. Smoke from oak combustion is less toxic than that from peat or eucalyptus
  3. Smoke inhalation has significant effects on pulmonary function depending on fuel type and combustion conditions that sometimes do not recover after 24 hours.
  4. Acute exposure to smoke has greater physiological effects than cumulatively similar exposures over a more prolonged period but other endpoints need to be studied
California Fire Science Consortium
Applying Traditional Knowledge to Fire Management and Research
Authors of a recent research brief and Journal of Forestry article highlight the challenges and solutions in applying traditional knowledge and western knowledge to current approaches of wildland fire, fuels, and natural and cultural resource management.
Association for Fire Ecology
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.
Funding Opportunities
Close-up of $100 bills
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 Burner Certification Courses

  • Georgia - Courses are offered by the Georgia Forestry Commission, with the next course scheduled for April 17-18, 2019 in Moultrie, GA.

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

  • 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

  • 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.

Research Biologist (Fire Science) - Tall Timbers is seeking a biologist to assist fire research staff in their Wildland Fire Science Program.

Research Internships - Archbold Biological Station is accepting applications for research internships through March 8. A stipend, room, and board will be provided. Only email applications will be accepted, and applications and questions should be directed to Eric Menges.

Post Doctoral Fellow (Appalachian Fire Ecology) - Clemson University, Western Carolina University, Virginia Tech, and the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists are seeking a post-doctoral researcher for a 9-month appointment. Applications are due by March 18.

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 
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

Laurel Kays
NC State Extension Forestry
Extension Assistant

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