A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
No. 32
May 2019
Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability
Upcoming Webinar
If you've heard of SERPPAS, but want to know what the partnership truly entails, this webinar is for you. SERPPAS will host a " SERPPAS 101" webinar on Monday, May 20 at 1:00 PM ET in advance of the SERPPAS Annual Meeting. The webinar will focus on educating participants about the partnership's history, current efforts, and future direction. The webinar will be recorded and made available on the SERPPAS website.

Upcoming Principals Meeting
The 2019 Annual SERPPAS Principals Meeting will take place June 4-5 at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence in Fort Rucker, AL. Full details are available on the registration website.

Good Map Development Progress
The June Principals Meeting will focus, in part, on the ongoing effort to develop a SERPPAS "Good Map." SERPPAS coordinator recently authored a blog post about the Good Map effort. More detailed information can be found in the SERPPAS Good Map White Paper.
Women-In-Fire Training Exchange (WTREX)

The 3rd WTREX (also the 75th TREX) took place from March 18-29, 2019 at Tall Timbers Research Station in Tallahassee, Florida. This was the first WTREX held in the South, and many participants from the southern region were able to attend. WTREX engages women and men in building a support network for fire practitioners working to advance their leadership in wildland fire management.
Many participants have taken time to reflect on their experience at the WTREX. These reflections include a post on the Fire Adapted Communities blog by Lenya Quinn-Davidson. Lenya was also featured in a Nature Conservancy article about the WTREX and how it relates to larger issues of diversity in wildland fire, with Lenya noting that "We need more perspectives, more ideas, more innovation—more creative discomfort. And we need to create space for women and men of different backgrounds to have a voice and contribute to this evolution.” A video of the WTREX was produced by the Southern Fire Exchange, and media mentions can be seen here .

Image: Participants at the March WTREX
Credit: Lenya Quinn-Davidson
Study Examines Weather Conditions that Allow Formation of Well-Developed Smoke Plumes
A blog post published by the US Forest Service Southern Research Station covers a recent modeling study that identified conditions for smoke plume formation in the Southeast. The study, published in a special issue of Atmosphere, is part of a national project called the Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE).
Storm-Felled Trees a Growing Concern as Climate Change Magnifies Fire Risk
Hurricane Michael left parts of Florida and Georgia with millions of acres of storm-felled trees. Fire professionals including Tall Timbers' Kevin Hiers expressed concern in an article published in Scientific American about the wildfire risk posted by these downed trees, particularly given the difficulty of implementing prescribed fire across the acreage impacted. This difficulty may be a sign of things to come, as climate change prolongs droughts and makes prescribed fire more difficult to implement.

Image: Trees toppled by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, FL
Credit: Joe Raedle, Getty Images via Scientific American
IAFC Releases WUI Chief's Guide
The International Association of Fire Chiefs has released a WUI Chief's Guide. Designed by fire chiefs for fire chiefs, the guide helps individuals understand how a fire chief or other official can help a community manage the risks of fires in the wildland-urban interface.
Southeast Cohesive Fire Management Strategy
New Success Stories Available
Two regional new success stories are available. The first covers how the City of Gatlinburg rebuilt fire-resistant homes in the aftermath of the 2016 Chimney Tops II Fire. The second focuses on a Gatlinburg youth group working with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry, City of Gatlinburg, and area communities to spread the message of fire prevention.

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.
Extension Connection
NC State Extension Releases Prescribed Fire Video
North Carolina Cooperative Extension has produced a ten-minute video that provides an overview of the benefits and logistics of using prescribed fire in woodlands.

Oklahoma PBA Burn Data Released
Data on burns conducted between 2015 and 2018 by Oklahoma Prescribed Bun Associations is now available. Those wishing to contribute to this data-set can do so regardless of whether they are PBA members.
Southern Fire Exchange
Southern Fire Exchange Logo
New Fact Sheet: Introduction to Fire and Soil Carbon
SFE's most recent fact sheet gives an overview of the latest research on fire and soil carbon. This includes the importance of soil carbon, the effects of fire on microbes and plant species, and relevance to management.

SFE Hiring Outreach Specialist
SFE is accepting applications for an Outreach Specialist position through Friday, May 3. The position will last for one year, with the potential to continue pending additional funding.

LF Remap Adds New Product
In addition to improvements to the Existing Vegetation Type (EVT), Existing Vegetation Cover (EVC), and Existing Vegetation Height (EVH) products, LF Remap has added a new product to the existing vegetation suite, National Vegetation Classification (NVC). What is it? To better explain, “Group” level vegetation products tied to the National Vegetation Classification Standard (NVCS) are now offered independently in addition to the Ecological Systems products LF has provided in the past. This NVC mapping work is the first national application of the standard with tangible, usable products.
Read this overview for details about what the NVC offers and why it matters.
Interview with USFS Alan Ager
USFS Forester Alan Ager’s significant contributions to fire science and ecology include the areas of wildfire risk governance, socioeconomic and ecological trade-offs in forest restoration programs, network analysis of wildfire risk transmission, and landscape scenario modeling. His recent focus has been on developing planning tools to simulate and explore national policy scenarios and predict investment outcomes in terms of economic and ecological conditions on national forests. LANDFIRE posed a few questions to Alan about his work and where LF fits in.

Data Now Accessible on Wildfire Analyst Pocket Edition
LANDFIRE data are now accessible on the Wildfire Analyst Pocket Edition app, giving the wildland fire community operational fire behavior tools for use in the field
Prescribed Fire News Roundup
Prescribed Fire Promotes Habitat for Turkey, Quail, and Other Ground-Nesting Birds
Arkansas' Newton County Times covers why growing-season prescribed fire benefits ground-nesting birds.

State Foresters Concerned about Administration’s Desire to Reduce Funding for State and Private Forestry Programs
Wildfire Today reports on the concern from state and territorial foresters about the cuts to state and private forestry programs proposed in the President's FY20 budget, particularly in light of the executive order to promote forest management released in December.

Fiery Partnership Brings Prescribed Burning to Urban Students
The High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal describes how a collaboration between a dedicated high school teacher and Oklahoma State University Extension is teaching students about prescribed fire.
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.

Great Plains Fire Science Exchange and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Release Ignition Techniques Video
The Great Plains Fire Science Exchange and Texas A&M Agrilife Extension have produced a new video on prescribed fire ignition techniques. While focused on grassland and prairie ecosystems, the video is an excellent tool for demonstrating the differences in ignition techniques for any audience.
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.

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 Managers 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.

  • North Florida - October 4, 2019, Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee, FL More details coming soon.
Prescribed Burner Certification Courses

  • 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

  • Texas - The Texas A&M Forest Service offers courses, with the only scheduled course taking place June 3-6 in Lufkin, TX. Registration is required by May 15.

Conferences, Workshops, Festivals and Other Event

  • 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, May 3 for an Outreach Specialist 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

Laurel Kays
NC State Extension Forestry
Extension Assistant

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