A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
No. 19                                                                         April 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.  

Thank You, Clay!

We would like to give a big thank you to Clay Ware for all of his hard work and dedication to the prescribed fire community during his career as the Longleaf Pine Recovery Coordinator with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. We are also thankful for his active membership in SERPPAS. Clay will be retiring at the end of the March, but his efforts will leave a legacy long into the future.

Congratulations to Clay!
Spotlight: Southeast Cohesive Fire Management Strategy Success Story 

Written by: Holly Campbell, Southern Regional Extension Forestry, and Ryan Bean, Clemson University Cooperative Extension 

SC Cooperative Extension Workshops Teach Participants About Prescribed Fire & Liability
A commonly referenced reason landowners and land managers do not use more prescribed fire is liability; they imagine the worst-case scenario. To address this concern, Ryan Bean, Kershaw County Agent for Clemson Cooperative Extension, held 3 separate prescribed fire and liability workshops across South Carolina in 2017.  Read more here  to l earn about what made these workshops a success.
New Fire Science You Can Use

By Leslie Boby
2017 Accomplishments of the Fire Science Exchange Network
The  Joint Fire Science Program  funded  Fire Science Exchange Network  (FSEN) was highlighted in this recent  FY17 summary (pdf)  from the Joint Fire Science Program. SFE is the southeastern regional member of the FSEN.
Dr. Joe O'Brien, Ph.D. Southern Fire Science
Check out this video to find out how Dr. Joe O'Brien, a research ecologist from the US Forest Service Southern Research Station, is working with the Prescribed Fire Science Consortium on links between natural fuels and fire behavior and how that will feed into next generation smoke and fire models. 

Depending on where you live in the South, you might be interested in following the work of either the Southern Fire Exchange (SFE), the Consortium of Fire Managers & Scientists (CAFMS), and/or the Oak Woodlands & Forests Fire Consortium. 

Check out the most recent edition of the SFE Fire Lines newsletter and the  CAFMS Newsletter for a variety of fire science information! 
Join the SFE email list to receive future issues of Fire Lines and other email updates.

Are you Properly Portraying the Power of Prescribed Fire?

At a recent Nebraska conference, Shelly Kelly of the Sandhills Task Force made a point worth some serious consideration. She told a roomful of wildlife biologists that if they want reluctant ranchers to seriously consider using prescribed fire, using photos of big scary flames in presentations and social media posts is probably counterproductive. Instead, Shelly suggested sharing more photos of fires that are clearly under control, with people calmly working around them. Read the entire article here .

Smoke in a New Era of Fire

Smoke from fire can sharply reduce air quality by releasing particulate matter, one of the most dangerous types of air pollution for human health.A third of U.S. households have someone sensitive to smoke. Minimizing the amount and impact of smoke is a high priority for land managers and regulators. One tool for achieving that goal is prescribed fire. Prescribed fire can be controlled and planned carefully to minimize smoke impacts and warn communities in advance. It can also help reduce decades worth of vegetation buildup from past fire exclusion and help restore dry, fire-adapted forests. Forest Service research is helping decision makers plan for, predict, and control smoke from fires and communicate smoke impacts to the public. 

To read more of this article, or download the full issue #24 of  Science Update  from the USDA Forest Service,  CLICK HERE.

Where is Your Role in the FAC Cycle?

Learning to live better with wildfire takes many forms and can begin at any time. Whether you are making sure your campfire is cold, supporting the use of prescribed fire, taking responsibility for your own home (and encouraging neighbors to do the same), evacuating calmly with your prepared "go kit", or helping your community recover, you are making a difference. Everyone has a role in adapting to wildfire. This infographic is found in the FAC Cycle Facilitation Guide and to have you own digital version of the graphic, CLICK HERE
Southern Area Fire Risk Assessment
The SACC Rapid Assessment Team publishes their
winter/spring 2018 recommendations.

In response to elevated risk across portions of the Southern Area, a fire risk assessment was conducted to assess the potential and expected fire situation for the late winter and spring fire season. The assessment period extends from February 1 to May 1, 2018 and covers four general geographic areas: Florida, the Piedmont of the Carolinas and Georgia, the southern Appalachian Mountains, and central Texas and Oklahoma. The analysis includes the current weather situation and extended forecast, fuels compared to normal for the time of year, the National Fire Danger Rating System's energy release component for each Southern Area Predictive Service Area, and fire occurrence. Download the final Assessment at this Link.
Prescribed Fire Council Updates

North Carolina Prescribed Fire Council
Save the date! The North Carolina PFC will hold their annual meeting on August 2-3, 2018 in Asheboro, NC.

Louisiana Prescribed Fire Council 
Annual Meeting Thursday, October 26, 2018, 8 AM-1 PM 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, County Agent, 337-463-7006.
Virginia Prescribed Fire Council
The VAPFC will be partnering with others to host a Learn & Burn event in Wakefield in May. Full details available on the website,  CLICK HERE

Annual Meetings
Did you miss your Prescribed Fire Council meeting this fall? Did you see a presentation and want a copy of the slides? The Southern Fire Exchange has archived presentations from some of the meetings from last year. Check out the archive here.

Check on your state's PFC website to find an event near you.

Prescribed Burn Association Updates

New PBA in Florida!
There is a new PBA in North Florida, and they have hit the ground running! A new prescribed fire specialist is assisting the North Florida PBA with training activities. They recently conducted a prescription writing workshop in the field with 10 PBA members, while a burn crew burned the same 100-acre unit they worked on. So they got a skill-building opportunity with weather, fuels, and then active fire all in one day. This is the first of a series.

PBA News Items
John Weir at Oklahoma State University manages a listserv intended for use by those interested in burn associations. This listserv allows landowners, managers, agency staff, and others to share information on prescribed burning. Click here to initiate a request to join the listserv.  

Many other useful links and videos designed to support PBAs can be found at the  Southeast Prescribed Fire Update.

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? We will be offering a webinar on this subject this summer in conjunction with the Southern Fire Exchange.  Tell us what you would like to know about staging such an event. We will incorporate it into the webinar.

Teacher Education Program on Hot Topic of Fire
The Forest to Classroom (F2C) professional development program was created to connect educators to forest resources in North Carolina and assist with implementing forestry education in the classroom. The June 25-28, 2018 F2C will focus on fire and is being held near the area of North Carolina impacted by 2016 wildfires. Teachers who participate will gain an understanding of fire not normally afforded to primary school educators. Read more and apply here.

NC Agent Training
Three Cooperative Extension Service Agent training events were held in February across North Carolina. The 1-day events provided County Agents with new information on wildland fire, including how to determine wildfire risk in their county, how to mitigate it with prescribed burning, cost share opportunities, and more. More than 40 Agents and volunteers were able to see a demonstration burn, as well as learn how to conduct some smaller demonstrations that can be done in a K-12 classroom (such as the FireWorks program). 


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

The LANDFIRE website has undergone changes, not only to make it 508 compliant, but to update resources, add new content and links, and ease navigation. The basic structure and content remain, but -- WOW -- the "Extreme Makeover" will better support your many mobile devices and make the Big Screen experience more enjoyable. 

Read the third in a new series of short articles about LANDFIRE Remap here. Remap is a comprehensive vegetation and fuels mapping effort designed to produce new LF product suite base maps. A fourth Remap article will appear in LF's April postcard. Subscribe here to keep up to date on this series and check out the first and second installments.

Vegetation ecologist Marion Reid is the NatureServe project manager overseeing a multi-year year effort to support the LF team in new mapping of the U.S. of ecological systems and National Vegetation Classification (NVC) Groups, and is contributing to the development of a Guidebook to the NVC for BLM. A "LANDFIRE Lifer," Marion says that "collaborating with LANDFIRE and GAP to provide our ecological expertise and information about the ecosystems of the U.S. has resulted in a wealth of spatial and descriptive information about the distribution and dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems that benefits many people." Read the interview.

Are you receiving LANDFIRE Bulletins and Postcards directly? We post monthly: news, application stories, interviews. Click here to learn more and to subscribe.

Central Appalachians Fire Learning Network
In their  Notes from the Field , Sam Lindblom and Laurel Schablein from the Natural Conservancy share stories and photos of summer 2017 meetings, surveys, burns and networking. Partners in the Central Appalachians FLN made meaningful strides in relationship and capacity building along the way.

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

Measure Included in Passage of March Omnibus Spending Bill
Wildfire funding provisions were included in the spending bill signed on Friday, March 23rd. Check out the Society of American Foresters'  summary overview
of the provisions here. 

Webinars and Videos

Upcoming Webinars

April 13, 2018 - 12:00-2:00 PM ET. IFTDSS Webinar Series Webinar V -  Developing Treatment Alternatives

April 18, 2018 - 1:00 PM ET.  Fire Season GIS Specialist (GISS) Webinar #2 . To inform wildland fire incident GIS resources about the status of topics impacting the 2018 fir e season.

May 1, 2018 - 12:30 PM ET. Making it Work: How Michigan National Forests modified LANDFIRE data for local use While the webinar focuses on Michigan forests, the methods and tools can be applied nationally.


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.

Presentations  of the  7th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress  plenary presentations, along with 35 presentations from 4 special sessions  are available for viewing at the  Association of Fire Ecology website . The Congress was held in Orlando, FL November 28- December 2, 2017.   fireecology.org/2017-Videos

Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) 19 Years of Research Supporting Sound Decisions. Hosted by University of Florida IFAS.   

FireAFEx, Fire Topics Worth Talking About - Association of Fire Ecology (AFE) Wave of Fire Video - understand the context of human-induced fire in the world.

The Association of Fire Ecology offers World of Wildland Fire   videos. These excellent videos cover topics like wildfire ecology, latest research, fire behavior and fuels, moisture, and combustion.  

Learn how to use this completely revamped browser based planning and analysis tool through their  new online IFTDSS training videos

Archived Webinars

Diversity: Just gender and race...Or a diversity of perspectives?  (March 2018) Presenter: Sara Brown, USFS Human Performance & Organizational Learning Research, Development & Applications.

  Editing Landscapes in the Interagency Fuel Treatment Decision Support System (March 2018) from IFTDSS Help, This webinar is for those trying to learn how to edit landscapes in IFTDSS to better represent their area.

Air Quality Planning for Wildland Smoke series  (March 2018) from Northern Arizona University includes 5 re corded webinars including content from the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals.

More previously recorded fire-related webinars can be found on the Southern Fire Exchange archived webinar page.  

Upcoming Events, Training, and Networking

Prescribed Burn Certification Courses

Louisiana:  May 8-10, 2018 - Louisiana Prescribed Fire Training,  Woodworth Outdoor Education Center .
Registration details TBD.  

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. 
  • July 30, 2018 - Auburn University, AL - Certification Course, $150 fee
  • July 31 - August 3 - Auburn University, AL - Re-certification Workshop, $100 fee
  • September 17, 2018 - Tuscaloosa, AL - Certification Course, $150 fee
  • September 18 - 21, 2018 - Tuscaloosa, AL - Re-certification Workshop, $100 fee
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
  • June 19-21, 2018 - Southern Regional Fire Training Center, Pearl, MS
  • September 18-20, 2018 - Hilton Garden Inn, Starkville, MS

Fire Festivals

April 21, 2018 - Party for the Pine: Fire for the Forest, Southern Pines, NC. Get full details and learn how to become involved at:  http://www.partyforthepine.org/

May 19, 2018 - Longleaf Festival at Harris Lake County Park, New Hill, NC. See full details here!

Training Events

April 24-27, 2018 - Prescribed Fire for Wildlife Workshop , Everglades Youth Conservation Camp, West Palm Beach, FL. This training will provide land managers and wildlife stewards with basic information on wildlife habitat management opportunities associated with prescribed fires in Florida. Details on fees, lodging and schedule at this LINK . Registration deadline is April 12, 2018.

April 30 - May 11, 2018 - Central Oregon Prescribed Fire Training Exchange / Bend, OR. Save the date for this TREX-application information  

May 1-12, 2018 -   East River Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (Session 1)  / eastern SD. This training is hosted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, South Dakota Wildland Fire Division, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy. Applications due by March 30, contact to see if registration is still available .

May 7-18, 2018 - Ashland Prescribed Fire Training Exchange / Ashland, OR. Save the date for this TREX-application information.

May 8-10, 2018 - Longleaf Academy: Longleaf 101, Lufkin, TX, hosted by Texas Longleaf Task Force. $150 registration fee. Full details and registration at www.longleafalliance.org

May 10, 2018 - Learn and Burn: Prescribed Burning on Private Lands, Wakefield, VA, Advanced registration required, $15 registration fee, full details available on the website, CLICK HERE

May 15-25, 2018 - East River Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (Session 2) / eastern SD. This training is hosted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, South Dakota Wildland Fire Division, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy. Applications are due by March 30. Information: see the flyer attached to Networker #252

June 12, 2018, 9am to 5pm - S-131 Firefighter Type 1 Training, Gainesville, FL. $75 registration fee. Topics include fireline reference materials, communications, and tactical decision making. Register by May 15, limited seating.

June 12-14, 2018Longleaf Academy: Fire & Longleaf 201, Southern Pines, NC. Full details and registration at  www.longleafalliance.org

June 13-14, 2018, 9am to 5pm daily. S-215 Fire Operations in the Wildland/Urban Interface, Gainesville, FL $100 registration fee. Learn skills needed to evaluate the situation, order and deply assets, apply safe and effective tactics, minimize threat to life and property. Register by Mary 15, limited seating.

June 25-28, 2018 - Forest to Classroom: Fire Focus, Henderson County, NC. Pass this information on to  educators grades 6-12. Continuing education (CEU) for the NC Department of Public Instruction and EE Certification (Criteria II and III) credits for the NC EE Certification Program will be provided. Contact:  Renee Strnad at NC State University Extension Forestry, renee_strnad@ncsu.edu

July 17-19, 2018 -  Longleaf Academy: Fire & Longleaf 201, Webb Center, Garnett, SC. Full details and registration at  www.longleafalliance.org

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. Save the date for 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. Save the date, registration will open soon.

October 29 - November 9, 2018  - Southern Blue Ridge TREX, the first Prescribed Fire Training Exchange in the Appalachians including aerial ignition! Sponsored by USDA Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy and Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers & Scientists. #SBRTrex  More information coming soon.

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

April 10-12, 2018 - Wildland Urban Fire Summit, Santa Fe, NM. "Collaborative Community Action" is the theme of this collaborative event hosted by the BLM, USFS, BIA, NM State Forestry, NM State Land Office, NM Association of Counties, NM Municipal League, Forest Stewards Guild and Southwest Fire Science Consortium.

April 14, 2018 - Restoring Woodland Health with Shortleaf Pine, Sewanee, TN. This field forum will address shortleaf pine ecosystem restoration in the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee. Register for free by April 12.

May 5, 2018 - National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day  Commit a couple of hours, or the entire day, and watch as your actions positively contribute to reducing your community's wildfire risk. Challenge your friends, your family, relatives, faith-based group or youth organization to develop a project and join others throughout the nation in making big changes. 

May 8-10, 2018 - Longleaf Academy: Longleaf 101, Texas Forest Service in Lufkin, TX. Training will combine class room and tours of east Texas longleaf stands providing an excellent foundation for understanding the unique attributes of the longleaf pine / fire ecosystem. $150 advanced registration required.

May 21-24, 2018 - The Fire Continuum Conference, University of Montana, Missoula, MT.  Visit the conference website here, and click the image to the right for full details. 

Oct. 23-26, 2018 - The Longleaf Alliance, Alexandria, LA. The nd 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. 

Visit the Southern Fire Exchange for more listings of conferences, webinars, workshops and field tours here .

Web-based Resources and Tools
Job Postings

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.

Wildland Restoration International (WRI) Job Announcements:
WRI is currently recruiting conservation-minded, NWCG-qualified staff for the following prescribed fire and ecosystem restoration team positions. These positions are to be filled immediately.


Southeastern U.S.

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.

The Nature Conservancy  has numerous fire-related positions open. For details, visit the  careers page  and search "prescribed fire."

Online Job Boards: 

Partner Newsletters
More fire-related information from our friends & partners!

Consortium of Appalachian Fire Mgrs & Scientists Newsletter (current edition)

Department of Defense Natural Selections Newsletter (Winter 2017)

Fire Learning Network Networker (current edition)

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. 
Share your prescribed fire
 information, stories, and events!

Jennifer Fawcett
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