A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
No. 44
May 2020
COVID-19 News
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions are continuing to impact prescribed burning programs across the South. As of May 1, 2020 no Southern states currently have COVID-19-related burn bans. Agencies, organizations, and private landowners continue to navigate balancing the need for prescribed fire while keeping burners and surrounding communities safe.

The following information and resources related to COVID-19 may be useful to the Southern prescribed fire community.
Wildfires and the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ongoing coverage. IMAGE:
NIAID – https://www.flickr.com/photos/niaid/49534865371/, CC BY
2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87484997.
  • Information and Guidance

  • 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. 

  • The "Conferences, Workshops, Festivals and Other Events" section of this newsletter includes events that have been moved to virtual platforms, postponed, rescheduled, or cancelled. This list is current to the best of our knowledge, however if you are interested in a specific event please check with organizers as things are changing every day.

Most importantly, we hope that the entire Southern prescribed fire community continues to stay safe and healthy. Thank you for all that you do!
Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability

Spring Steering Committee Meeting Summary Available
The summary for the Spring 2020 SERPPAS Steering Committee is now available on the SERPPAS website. A SERPPAS login is required to view the material.

2020 SERPPAS Principals Meeting
The 2020 SERPPAS Principals Meeting 15-Year Celebration has been rescheduled for September 15-16, 2020 due to COVID-19. SERPPAS continues to closely monitor the situation, and will send out additional information throughout the summer. Virtual options will be considered in the event that in-person meetings are not possible this year.
Extension Connection
ANREP Awards Recognize Fire Programming

New Fact Sheet: Fire and Fencing
Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service has released a new fact sheet: Fire Effects: Fencing. The publication addresses the effects of fire on livestock fencing materials in grasslands.

Remember to Log Your Burns!

Burners in any state are encouraged to log prescribed burns on the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association website. The simple Google Form does not ask for any personal information, and is used to track prescribed burn activity and safety records around the country.
New 360-Degree Videos Showcase Prescribed Fire, Forest Management
New 360-degree videos created by North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Research Station Forest Manager David Schnake allow viewers to explore forest management sites and learn about the different practices used to manage them. The Picture Creek Diabase Barren series includes multiple videos showing the site before, during, and after a prescribed burn. Those videos that specifically discuss the use and evaluation of prescribed fire are also hosted on the eFIRE site. All videos were developed following a collaboration with NC State University’s Colin Kennan and Victoria Gerson.
Environmental Education Resources

The Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Forestry Foundation, Chattahoochee Nature Center, and Project Learning Tree Georgia have compiled a variety of environmental education resources about forest management, wildland fire, and longleaf pine. Resources include a PBS Wildfire Simulator, Longleaf Alliance Longleaf Lesson Plans, and a virtual tour of a Georgia forest.
New General Technical Report: Fire in the Southern Appalachians

The USDA Forest Service has released a new General Technical Report on Fire in the Southern Appalachians. The report examines time trends of fire in the Southern Appalachian region, including mitigation activities and forecasting acres burned. Chapters address topics including the 2016 wildfires, use of prescribed fire in the region, and what the future may look like given increases in global temperatures, fuels, and wildland fire management.
WUI Awareness Month: Wildfire Risk Reduction Resources

Each year, Wildland-Urban Interface Awareness Month is celebrated in April. This April, the USDA Forest Service released Wildfire Risk to Communities, a free, easy-to-use website with interactive maps, charts, and resources to help communities understand, explore, and reduce wildfire risk. The website also includes a fact sheet to help users navigate the site.
#FridaysOnTheFarm Storymap
A new storymap from the United States Department of Agriculture features the Bembry family from Pulaski County, GA. The Bembry's farm ventures include management for longleaf pine timber and the use of prescribed fire.

Photo: Johnny Bembry uses prescribed fire on his farm
Credit: USDA Storymap
Learning Analysis Released for 2019 Prescribed Fire Helicopter Fatality

A 33-page Facilitated Learning Analysis has been released for a 2019 incident in which helicopter passenger and firefighter Daniel Laird was killed on a prescribed fire in Texas. Wildfire Today has also published a blog post including excerpts of the report.
Southern Appalachians Fuel Loading Photo Guide Updated
The updated Photo Guide for Estimating Fuel Loading in the Southern Appalachian Mountains has been released by the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station. The guide includes 74 photos depicting fuel loads in the region, as well as instructions on how to select a reference photo and use fuel loading information for prescribed fire planning.

Photo: Guide Excerpt. Credit: Photo Guide for Estimating Fuel Loading in the Southern Appalachian Mountains
Timing Prescribed Fire to Maximize Longleaf Pine Growth

Recent studies in Louisiana by the USDA Forest Service examined how to best time prescribed fire to maximize growth in young longleaf pines. The studies found, in part, that when seedlings are short enough for needles to all be scorched, fire should be applied between March and May.

Proper smoke management is essential to maintaining the health and safety of our communities, and helps to improve public support for prescribed fire. The Ashland, Oregon SmokeWise website may be a useful resource for those wanting to provide more cohesive messaging about wildland fire smoke, particularly as COVID-19 has exacerbated many concerns related to smoke and public health.
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network

New Blog Posts:
The Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network publishes a variety of content related to fire adaptation. The following recent posts may be of interest to the prescribed fire community:

Longleaf Alliance

Regional Longleaf Awards Program
The Longleaf Alliance is accepting nominations for their Regional Longleaf Awards Program. The program recognizes individuals and organizations that have made contributions to longleaf restoration across the region, including a specific award for the Burner Bob® Prescribed Fire Champion. Nominations are due by June 1.

LANDFIRE Southeast Remap
LANDFIRE Remap for the Southeast has been released. This release adds Disturbance, Vegetation, and Fuel for the Southeast GeoArea to the LF Remap product suite. These products can be found on the  LF Data Distribution Site . A Southern Fire Exchange webinar on the Remap for the Southeast will be held June 17, 2020 at 1:00 PM ET.
Southern Fire Exchange

Fire Lines Volume 10 Issue 2 Released
The latest edition of the bimonthly Fire Lines newsletter is now available. The issue includes a research brief on the case for prescribed fire science, Southern Fire Exchange news, recent science on prescribed fire impacts on bees and box turtles, and much more.

Upcoming Webinars and Recent Recordings
SFE has five currently scheduled webinars. Registration is free but required for each.

Kevin Robertson, Ph.D., Tall Timbers Research Station
May 14, 1:00 PM ET

Dr. Rodd Linn, Los Alamos National Lab
May 21, 1:00 PM ET

Rebecca Ward, North Carolina State Climate Office
May 27, 1:00 PM ET

June 17, 1:00 PM ET

Kevin Robertson, Ph.D., Tall Timbers Research Station
June 24, 1:00 PM ET
All SFE webinars, including the recent Statutory, Regulatory and Legal Constraints on Prescribed Fire in the USA webinar held on March 12, are recorded. Recordings are available to watch anytime on the SFE YouTube channel.
Joint Fire Science Program

Fire Science Exchange Network Newsletters
The Fire Science Exchange Network includes 15 exchanges across the United States. Besides the Southern Fire Exchange, two other Exchanges also cover portions of the Southern Region and have recently released new editions of their newsletter:

Prescribed Fire News Roundup
Funding Opportunities
Close-up of $100 bills
Renewable Resources Extension Act National Focus Fund Projects RFP
The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting proposals from land-grant institutions for pilot projects that (1) Address emerging forest and rangeland resource issues, (2) Have national or regional relevancy, or (3) Develop new and innovative projects that can be replicated at other institutions. Applications will be accepted through June 28.

Longleaf Stewardship Fund: Longleaf Pine Growth and Yield Model RFP
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service (USFS), is soliciting proposals to begin development of a new growth and yield model for longleaf pine. The application period has been extended through May 7, and an applicant webinar was held on April 9 and is available to watch on-demand.

Association for Fire Ecology Funding Opportunities
The Association for Fire Ecology (AFE) has two ongoing funding opportunities:

  • Wayne Harrison Memorial Scholarship - Students may apply for up to $2,500, with funding available annually. Applications are due each year by March 31, with awards announced by May 31.
  • Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) TREE Grants - 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 conference or workshop.
Job Postings
All jobs are open as of the Driptorch Digest send date, however application reviews may have begun.

Extension Fire and Rangeland Fire Regional Specialists - Oregon State University’s Forestry & Natural Resources Extension's newly created Fire Program is hiring six regional specialists. Five Extension Fire Regional Specialists will be located throughout the state, and one Extension Rangeland Fire Regional Specialist will be located in Burns, OR. Applications for all positions are due by May 15.

Southeast Region Manager - The Forest Stewards Guild is hiring a a manager for their Southeastern program. Applications are being accepted through May 6.

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 wildland 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
Please note that this section is current to the best of our knowledge as of the sending of this newsletter. If you are interested in attending an event listed as still scheduled, contact organizers to ensure they still plan to host it.

Prescribed Fire Council Meetings

  • North Georgia - June 4, Jasper, GA More details will be available soon.

  • North Carolina - August 12, Virtual More details will be available soon.

  • Virginia - September 16-17, Wakefield, VA More details will be available soon.

  • Kentucky - September 23-24, Slade, KY More details will be available soon.

  • Georgia - September 30, Tifton, GA More details will be available soon.

  • 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

  • Alabama - Certification and re-certification courses are offered through the Alabama Forestry Commission Certified Burn Manager Program. The following courses are currently scheduled.
  • July 6, Auburn University, AL (Re-certification course)
  • July 7-10, Auburn University, AL
  • August 10, Tuscaloosa, AL (Re-certification course)
  • August 11-14, Tuscaloosa, AL

  • Kentucky - Courses are offered periodically, with no courses currently scheduled.

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

  • Mississippi - The Mississippi Forestry Commission offers a Prescribed Burning Short Course. Two courses are currently scheduled, though dates are tentative.
  • June 16-18, Pearl, MS
  • September 15-17, Starkville, MS

Conferences, Workshops, Festivals and Other Events

  • October 20-23 - Fire Ecology Across Boundaries, Florence, Italy - Abstracts are being accepted through June 1 or 30 depending on the type of abstract.

  • May 2021 - Southern Blue Ridge FLN Meeting, Dillard, GA

  • June 7-10, 2021 - Southern Group of State Foresters Annual Meeting, Oklahoma City, OK

  • TBD - Ashland TREX, Southwestern Oregon *New date TBD due to COVID-19

  • 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. 

Cancelled due to COVID-19

  • Virginia Interagency Wildland Fire Academy, Farmville, VA (May 19-23)
  • Southern Group of State Foresters Annual Meeting, San Juan, PR (June 1-4)
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

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