A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
No. 23                                                                        August 2018
Welcome to the Driptorch Digest, 
an online newsletter for the Southern prescribed fire community. 
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others who might be interested, and encourage them to sign up for their own subscription by clicking on the "subscribe" link at the bottom of this newsletter, or by visiting the Southeast Prescribed Fire Update blog to receive this newsletter as well as other occasional fire-related blog posts.  

Southeast Cohesive Fire Management Strategy Success Stories

Florida Air Force Range Prescribed Fire Program Reduces Wildfire Severity

Written By: Holly Campbell, Southern Regional Extension Forestry and Brent Bonner, Avon Park Air Force Range

Property boundary where the 630 Fire burned onto Avon Park Air Force Range land. Image faces Avon Park Air Force Range property with reduced understory density and live overstory pines. Credit: Brent Bonner, Avon Park Air Force Range
On February 2018, the 630 Fire burned onto Avon Park Air Force Range property in Polk County, Florida from an adjacent private property. The wildfire's 20-30-foot flames were fueled by vegetation on the private property that had not burned in over 20 years. Fortunately, the wildfire crossed into a tract of Air Force property that received prescribed fire treatment in the last 12 months. Once burning into this area, the strength of the wildfire diminished quickly and allowed the Florida Forest Service to extinguish the fire. Though the 630 Fire burned over 5,500 acres in total (of which 75 acres burned on Air Force property), the wildfire could have consumed many more acres if not for the aggressive prescribed fire program at Avon Park. Read more of this story here.
TELE Workshop Participants
 Photo by Leslie Boby-Southern Regional Extension Forestry
Workshop Teaches Participants to Engage 

Written by: Laurel Kays, NC State University  Extension Forestry

On July 17-18, nearly 40 professionals from a variety of agencies, organizations, and backgrounds gathered at Little Ocmulgee State Park in McCrae, GA for a two-day Tools for Engaging Landowners Effectively (TELE) Workshop. The workshop focused on understanding how to effectively reach landowners by defining and marketing to a specific target audience. Three groups worked on applying this method to specific issue areas related to prescribed fire.

For many natural resource professionals, marketing principles are not always familiar, or even intuitive. The staff from the Sustaining Family Forests Initiative that led the workshop were effective and patient guides in introducing participants to this new type of thinking. Thank you to all of the partners and people that made this workshop possible, and for those who have not yet had a chance to attend a TELE workshop, visit their website to learn more.

Clemson Fire Tigers Connect Students, Fire, and Forests

A partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and Clemson University gives undergraduate students an opportunity to gain hands on fire experience. These Fire Tigers receive training and education in wildland fire skills in addition to their classroom education. They are then able to join the U.S. Forest Service in the field for  prescribed burns and wildfires. Check out the full video and article about the program here.
Kevin Hiers, Dr. Kevin Robertson, WFSU Host Tom Flanigan, and Dr. David Godwin
Eastpoint Fire Prompts Discussions about Prescribed Fire 

In the wake of the devastating Eastpoint Fire in Franklin County, Florida, many questions have arisen about fire and prescribed burning. While an investigation into the origin of the fire that destroyed 36 homes is ongoing, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has said that it was the result of a prescribed burn that escaped after the contractor believed it to be fully out. 

In response to the Eastpoint tragedy, the public understandably has many questions about the role and use of prescribed fire. On July 5th, Kevin Hiers and Dr. Kevin Robertson with Tall Timbers Research Station and Dr. David Godwin with Southern Fire Exchange at the University of Florida joined WFSU Public Media host Tom Flanigan to discuss these issues. Listen to the entire program here, and if you're interested in options available to help those affected by the fire, more information on needs and donations can be found here.
Extension Connection
Resources and stories, from and/or for
Cooperative Extension Service Faculty and Staff

Learn & Burn Events
Are you interested in putting on a Learn & Burn field day for landowners to gain experience in burning, but not sure where to start?  A new site has been created to help you with this process! In addition , a webinar on this subject will be offered on October 10, 2018 at 1pm Eastern in conjunction with the Southern Fire Exchange.  Tell us what you would like to know  about staging such an event, and we will attempt to incorporate it into the webinar. Or, if you have anything you'd like to share from your own personal experiences that you'd like us to include, let us know! And in the meantime, check out our new blog post about the Virginia "Learn and Burn" workshop that was held in May with VA Extension.

Prescribed Burn Association Assistance Available
Do you know a group of landowners who may be interested in starting a Prescribed Burn Association, but aren't sure what is involved or how to start? There is an opportunity to have a member from an existing PBA come visit your group and share their experiences. In addition, there is help available for new PBAs to receive some basic tools and equipment. Contact Jennifer Fawcett for more details.

North  Carolina  Firescaping Workshop
Prior to the North Carolina Prescribed Fire Council meeting, Holly Campbell of SREF and others  will be hosting a hands-on workshop intended to teach community members, Master Gardeners and natural resource and Extension professionals about fire-resistant landscaping, or firescaping. The workshop will be held on August 1, 2018 from 1:00-5:00 PM at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, NC.    Registration is required and costs $10. A flier with additional information on topics to be covered and partners can be found here .
Joint Fire Science Program

NASF supports JFSP                                                           
The National Association of State Foresters sent letters of support to Congress urging continued funding for the Joint Fire Science Program (Firescience.Gov). JFSP is the primary funding source for the Southern Fire Exchange and the other 14 members of the Fire Science Exchange Network. Check out the summary and letters here
Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists

New Study Shows Regular Burning Regime  Benefits Some Bird Species 
A new study published in Forest Ecology and Management showed that in Appalachian oak forests, maintaining canopy openings and shrub habitat through prescribed burning and mechanical treatments can lead to greater numbers and diversity of breeding birds. The research, conducted on the Green River Game Lands in North Carolina,  adds to a growing body of research that shows prescribed burning benefits a wide variety of wildlife. For those unable to access the full journal article, a summary can be found in the latest CAFMS newsletter. 

Fire Learning Trail Promotes #GoodFire
The Fire Learning Trail has several locations throughout the Southern Appalachians, including the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky and Table Rock State Park in South Carolina. The podcast-style "episodes" for each stop can be accessed on the CAFMS website. Listen in and join the online conversation about the importance of prescribed fire and fire science by using #GoodFire on your social media sites!
Southern Fire Exchange

Wildland Firefighter Health and Behavior Study
The University of Montana is conducting an anonymous survey on the health risks of current and former wildland firefighters. While the University is facilitating the study, it is not associated with any specific agency or group that employs wildland firefighters. More information, as well as the survey itself, can be accessed here

National Evaluation of the Joint Fire Science Exchange Network Shows Positive Impacts
A national survey conducted over a four year period showed that natural resource managers connecting with their respective regional fire science exchange increased in their agreement that "scientists respect their experience and input, their regional exchange improves access to fire science, and they use fire science in their work." The same survey showed that fire scientists increased their level of agreement that "exchanges are necessary to share fire science information and improve the application of fire science in their region." These results confirm that the Joint Fire Science Exchange Network continues to support the work of fire and natural resource professionals across the country.

 for a variety of fire science information! 
Join the SFE email list to receive future issues of Fire Lines and other email updates.
Longleaf Partnership Council Communications Team Seeks Input

The LPC is developing three documents on how longleaf can outperform other pine species during natural disasters. They are currently in the process of collecting research involving longleaf as it pertains to fire resilience. If you are aware of any scientific research and documented case studies, please pass them along to Tiffany Woods.

By: Jeannie Patton, Communications Lead, The Nature Conservancy -   LANDFIRE 

2017 Department of the Interior Environmental Achievement Awards: LANDFIRE Named "Environmental Dream Team"
Annually, the Department of the Interior (DOI) presents Environmental Achievement Awards that recognize employees, teams, and partners who have attained exceptional environmental achievements that go above and beyond the person's or team's regular, expected duties. In early June, the DOI announced that LF was being honored with the 2017 "Environmental Dream Team" award.

The award acknowledges the LF teams for being "environmental champions and agents of change who work across organizational boundaries to enhance environmental stewardship, create efficiencies, improve communication, avoid or address conflict at the lowest levels, and/or reduce environmental review times." Click here for the full story.

It's a Brand-New WHAM!
The Nature Conservancy's LF team reviewed and updated all 128 Web-Hosted Application Map ( WHAM!) applications and produced a table of thumbnail descriptions for quick reference. The WHAM! is an online, interactive map that calls up many LF applications, their locations, and the partners involved. Just hover over a "balloon," click on it, and learn how LF products helped land managers meet their planning objectives. 

The WHAM! team is starting the next phase of activity: adding more application stories to the map. LF is eager to know if SERPPAS members in Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama, are using LF (as well as others in the Southeast), and will add more locations and stories to the map at any time. If you want your work featured on the WHAM!, send us an email !

Tip: open the WHAM! using Firefox or Chrome.

Please Log your Burns

Help improve regional data on the use of prescribed fire!

Encourage burners from any state to report their prescribed burn to the OPBA website No personal information is required and you will not be contacted or added to any list . If you have questions about this effort, please contact John Weir, Research Associate at Oklahoma State UniversityThis information is used to gather data on prescribed burns from around the country to support the use of prescribed fire. In the past this data helped to support law and policy changes, assist some burn associations with receiving grants and to help show others how safe and effective prescribed burning is.
Funding News & Opportunities

DoD Legacy Program Request for Proposals
The Department of Defense is accepting pre-proposals through August 17, 2018 for projects that foster mission sustainment while promoting long-term stewardship of natural and cultural resources. Additional information and points of contact can be found in the RFP announcement and website

Conservation Partners Program Request for Proposal 
The Conservation Partners program, a collaboration between NRCS, NFWF, and other partners is accepting proposals through August 22, 2018. The program provides grants on a competitive basis to increase technical assistance capacity to advance implementation of priorities. Additional information can be found on the website. An applicant webinar will also be held on July 26, 2018 at 2:00 PM ET. Registration is required and can be found here.

Assistance Available for Prescribed Fire and Habitat Management in North Florida  
Public and private landowners and land managers in North Florida can request assistance with prescribed fire and habitat management from Wildland Restoration International. If you are interested, contact WRI Team Leader Ryan Kennelly at  ryan.kennelly@wildlandrestoration.org  or 352-373-0550.

Additional information on funding opportunities is available at the grants.gov site. 
New Prescribed Fire Publications Now Available

Considerations for Wildlife and Fire in the Southern Blue Ridge
Authored by The Nature Conservancy's Adam Warwick and University of Tennessee professor Craig A. Harper,  Considerations for Wildlife and Fire in the Southern Blue Ridge is now available. A PDF copy can be accessed at no cost  on the CAFMS website, while those interested in a limited number of free hard copies can contact Jennifer Lamb at  jlamb@tnc.org or  order online through the University of Tennessee Institute for Agriculture for $7.00 per copy. 

Characterizing Effects of Prescribed Fire on Forest Canopy Cover in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
The USFS Northern Research Station has published a report analyzing over 100 burn events over the past 20 years to characterize the effects of prescribed fire on canopy cover. 

Wildfire: Preparing the Ranch and the Farm
A new publication from the Oklahoma State Cooperative Extension Service and others addresses the unique challenges faced by ranches and farms with respect to wildfire. It is available as a PDF online as well as in a mobile-friendly format.

Planning for and Implementing Prescribed Fire in Fire-Dependent Forests
Northern Arizona University's Ecological Restoration Institute released  a  white paper and accompanying fact sheet intended for policy-makers. While focused on the western US, the concepts and planning process outlined are easily applicable to the Southeast.

Full Community Costs of Wildfire 
A report by Headwaters Economics, an independent, nonprofit research group that seeks to improve community development and land management decisions, found that in a full accounting of community costs from wildfires, nearly half of those costs are paid at the local level. The full report and summary are both available on the organization's website. 

Prescribed Fire Policy Barriers and Opportunities: A Diversity of Challenges and Strategies Across the West
This report by the The University of Oregon Ecosystem Workforce Program and Colorado State University Public Lands Policy Group is based on interviews and a legal analysis of laws impacting the use of prescribed fire. 

Webinars and Videos

Upcoming Webinars
Archived Webinars
  • Archbold Biological Station's Vimeo channel has many beautifully shot videos showcasing the diversity of Florida scrub habitats, many of which prominently feature the importance of prescribed fire in maintaining that habitat and diversity. 
  • Videos for Landowners is an archive of short videos telling the stories of Texas landowners who are managing longleaf pine including the use of prescribed burning for vegetation control, native grass protection, and crop tree release. These videos are made possible by Texas Longleaf Taskforce through America's Longleaf Restoration Initiative.

Upcoming Events, Training, and Networking

Prescribed Fire Council Meetings
August 2-3, 2018  - The  North Carolina Prescribed Fire Council   will hold their annual meeting in Asheboro, NC. More information on the meeting is available  on their website  

September 6, 2018 - The Alabama Prescribed Fire Council will hod their annual meeting. More details can be found here

September 24- 25, 2018 Kentucky Prescribed Fire Council  Joint Annual Meeting with the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists - Bats and Fire Workshop. The meeting and workshop will be held at the Cave City Convention Center (502 Mammoth Cave St.) in Cave City, KY. Further registration details and agenda coming soon on their website: www.kyfire.org. 

September 26-27 , 2018 -  The South Carolina Prescribed Fire Council  Meeting will be held in Georgetown, SC. Further registration details and agenda coming soon on their meeting website

September 27, 2018 - The Georgia Prescribed Fire Council will hold their Annual Meeting in Tifton, GA. More details will be available soon on their website .

October 26, 2018, 8 AM-1 PM -  
Louisiana Prescribed Fire Council  Annual Meeting at  DeWitt Livestock Facility, 100 Greg Marshall Drive, Alexandria, LA (Dean Lee Research Station/LSUA). There is no cost, but registration is requested to ensure a proper number of seating. For more information, contact Keith Hawkins.

Prescribed Burn Certification Courses
Alabama:  Alabama Forestry Commission's Certified Prescribed Burn Manager Program offers courses for certification and workshops for re-certification. To register, contact Marti Davis at 34-240-9332. Seating is limited. 
  • August 20 - 23, 218 - Stockton, AL - Certification Course, $150 fee
  • September 17, 2018 - Tuscaloosa, AL - Re-certification Workshop, $100 fee
  • September 18 - 21, 2018 - Tuscaloosa, AL - Certification Course, $150 fee
Kentucky: In conjunction with the annual meeting and workshop, the KPFC will also be hosting their first Certified Burn Boss Workshop on September 26-28.  Completion of this course and post course experience are the final steps to becoming a Burn Boss in Kentucky. Registration information and pre- requisite information for the course can be found on the home page of the KPFC website.  Please contact Training Committee Chair Ben Robinson  with questions.  

Mississippi: Mississippi Forestry Commission's Prescribed Burning Short Course is held twice annually and is designed for anyone wishing to become a Certified Prescribed Burn Manager in Mississippi. Details and registration/payment information are available at mfc.ms.gov/prescribed-burning-short-course. The next one will be  September 18-20, 2018  at the Hilton Garden Inn, Starkville, MS.

North Carolina: Registration will open soon for 2018-2019 North Carolina Certified Burner Training. Locations and dates will also be available soon.

Fire Festivals

October 13, 2018 - Fire in the Pines Festival at Halyburton Park, Wilmington, NC. See full details here!

January 26, 2019 - Flatwoods Fire and Nature Festival (Save the Date). Austin Cary Forest, Gainesville, Florida. More details coming soon!

Training Events
August 1, 2018  -  Firescaping Workshop, 1:00-5:00 PM in Asheboro, NC prior to the North Carolina Prescribed Fire Council meeting.  The hands-on workshop is intended to teach community members, Master Gardeners and natural resource and Extension professionals about fire-resistant landscaping, or firescaping.  Registration is required  and costs $10. A flier with additional information on topics to be covered and partners can be found  here .

August 14-16, 2018 - Longleaf Academy: Herbicides & Longleaf 201, Solon Dixon Forestry Education center, Andalusia, AL. Full details and registration available here.

August 14-17, 2018 - S-130/190 Basic Wildland Firefighter Training, Gainesvlle, FL. This course is a hybrid format and requires both an online and in-person component. Registration is $95 for current college students with a valid ID and $125 for all others. Registration does not include lodging and is required by July 20th.

August 22, 2018 - Prescribed Burn Seminar & Field Tour, Sandhill Research and Education Center, Columbia, SC. A classroom session will cover topics including burn preparation, ignition techniques, and burn evaluation, and will be followed by a hay-ride style field tour, weather-permitting. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to Ryan Beam at rbean@clemson.edu or 803-840-6124 by August 17th. Full details are available here.

September 25-27, 2018 - Longleaf Academy: Understory Diversity 201, Little Ocmulgee State Park, McRae, GA. Full details and registration when available here.

Oct. 15 - Nov. 2, 2018 - Spanish-language Prescribed Fire Training Exchange / Santa Fe NF, NM. El octavo entrenamiento e intercambio en quemas prescritas en español. La fecha límite para la recepción de solicitudes es el Lunes 2 de Abril. Información: anuncio y formulario para postulantes

Oct. 29 - Nov. 9, 2018 - Southern Blue Ridge Prescribed Fire Training Exchange / Pickens, SC. The first TREX with planned aerial ignitions to be held in the Appalachians. The base camp will be adjacent to Table Rock State Park, site of a large fall 2016 wildfire; TREX burning is planned for Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Applications are now being accepted and must be completed by July 13th. Selections will be announced July 27th.

December 4-6, 2018 - Longleaf Academy: Longleaf 101, Georgetown, SC.  More details can be found  here.

OngoingFirefighter II Certification 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. This course trains these firefighters to coordinate with other resources and be good leaders - make sound tactical decisions while keeping safety their first priority.

Visit the Southern Fire Exchange Education and Training page for more opportunities. 

Conferences, Workshops & Other Events
October 1-3, 2018 - Great Plains Prescribed Fire Summit, Ardmore, OK. The second biennial summit will cover topics from prescribed fire basics to the latest fire science and will include a field tour. All practitioner levels are encouraged to attend. Visit the event site for online registration and additional information.

Oct. 23-26, 2018 - The Longleaf Alliance, Alexandria, LA.  The 22nd biennial Longleaf Alliance regional conference is  scheduled to take place at the Holiday  Inn Conference Center in Alexandria, LA., October 24 through 26, 2018. Visit this link  for more details. 

March 12-14, 2018 - Southern Silvicultural Research Conference, Shreveport, LA. The 20th biennial conference will begin accepting registrations November 1st, 2018. Visit the conference website for additional updates and details. 

Visit the Southern Fire Exchange for more listings of conferences, webinars, workshops and field tours here .
Job Postings
  • Assistant/Associate Professor - North Carolina State University is accepting applications for a tenure-track assistant or associate professor in wildland fire science and air quality. The position will be housed in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. Review of applications may begin as soon as July 20th, with applications continuing to be accepted as long as the position is posted here.
  • Assistant/Associate Professor, Extension - Natural Resource Specialist - The University of Nevada, Reno is seeking to fill a 12-month, full-time, tenure-track faculty position as a Natural Resource Specialist. The Extension Specialist position involves teaching, research, and service efforts addressing the issue of wildfire in Nevada through the Living With Fire program and other initiatives. For full consideration, submit all materials here by September 1, 2018. 
  • Assistant or Associate Professor - Texas Tech University is accepting applications for a tenure-track faculty position in Fire Ecology. Submit materials here by the beginning of application reviews on August 1, 2018.
  • Fire Ecology Program 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.
  • Student Conservation Association Veterans Fire Corps - The Veterans Fire Corps is open to post-9/11 veterans and provides training and experience in wildland fire mitigation through projects such as fuels reduction and prescribed burning. Positions begin August 20 and last through November 9 or 11. More information is available here.
  • Online Job Boards: 

Partner Newsletters
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)


Driptorch Digest

This newsletter is hosted by the Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning & Sustainability (SERPPAS) Prescribed Fire Work Group. 
Contact us to share your prescribed fire
 information, stories, and events!

Jennifer Fawcett - Extension Associate
SERPPAS Prescribed Fire Work Group Coordinator 
NC State University, Extension Forestry
Campus Box 8008
Raleigh, NC 27695-8008

Laurel Kays - Extension Assistant
NC State University, College of Natural Resources
Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources
Campus Box 8008
Raleigh, NC 27695-8008