A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
No. 11                                                                                     August 2017
Welcome to the Driptorch Digest, an online newsletter for the Southern prescribed fire community. This newsletter is hosted by the Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning & Sustainability (SERPPAS) Prescribed Fire Work Group. 

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 subscribing to the Southeast Prescribed Fire Update blog  
to receive this newsletter as well as other occasional fire-related blog posts.  

Spotlight: Cohesive Fire Management Strategy Success Story

Boy Scouts Introduced to Benefits of Prescribed Fire
Written by: Holly Campbell, Southern Regional Extension Forestry, and David Godwin, Southern Fire Exchange

The Longleaf Challenge, a Boy Scout camporee style event, was held at the Wallwood Boy Scout Reservation, in Gadsden County, Florida. The event was designed to get Scouts, Scouters, and their adult volunteers excited about longleaf pine ecosystems through fun activities that introduced them to longleaf management and the value of its restoration. Approximately 120 participants... ...

Prescribed Burn Association Updates

PBA Special Session
There will be a special session on PBAs at the upcoming Association for Fire Ecology Congress in November. If you will be attending the Congress, be sure to attend this session!

Prescribed Fire Council Updates

Alabama Growing Season Learn and Burn Video
Did you miss the Alabama Prescribed Fire Council Growing Season Learn and Burn event in June? Check out  this short video  from the Southern Fire Exchange and see if any of your friends were there!

Annual Meetings
Many Prescribed Fire Councils have announced their annual meeting dates. Several links to more information are included in the "Upcoming Events" section of this newsletter. Or, check on your state's website to find an event near you. 

New Fire Science You Can Use

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

Check out the most recent edition of the SFE Fire Lines newsletter and the out the most recent CAFMS Newsletter for a variety of fire science information!

Written by David Godwin, Southern Fire Exchange

University of Montana Researcher Works to Rethink Fuels
Eric Rowell from the University of Montana participated in a series of heavily instrumented research oriented prescribed fires this past spring at Tall Timbers Research Station and Pebble Hill Plantation. In these two short Southern Fire Exchange videos ("Proving Ground" and "Rethinking Fuels") he talks about his research that's seeking to radically modify how we measure and describe natural fuels.  

Drip Torch Fuel on Your Pants? Don't Get Burned!
A critical new video from the US Forest Services shows how to protect yourself after igniting your pants with a drip torch. Best advice? Wear tall wool socks and don't smother it against your leg.  

Fall 2017 JFSP Potential Research Topics Announced 
Researchers and graduation students will be interested to see the details on the topics that will likely be in the 2017 JFSP Funding Opportunity Notice.

August SFE Webinar: The Path Back: Oaks Facilitating Longleaf Pine Seedling Success on Xeric Sites
Do deciduous midstory oaks on xeric sandhill sites hurt or help longleaf pine seedlings? New research suggests that the presence of midstory oaks on xeric sandhill sites can significantly improve microsite conditions for < 2 year old longleaf pine seedlings by reducing soil temperature and lowering moisture loss due to evaporation. Over longer timescales, understanding and managing for the facilitative roles of native midstory oaks may be important for longleaf pine forest sustainability during droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes. To learn more, join us Wednesday, August 23rd for a SFE webinar presented by Dr. Louise Loudermilk of the USFS Southern Research Station. Free. Register here.

** Join the SFE email list  to receive future issues of Fire Lines and other email updates.**
Longleaf Implementation Team & Longleaf Updates

NRCS Longleaf Implementation Strategy
(USDA) The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) released a two-year implementation strategy to help private landowners restore and protect 400,000 acres of longleaf pine forests, a unique but imperiled landscape of the Southeast. Through the strategy, NRCS furthers its ongoing effort to use existing Farm Bill programs and other resources to increase the abundance and improve the health of longleaf pine forests in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.  Click here for more information. 

MoD-FIS: An innovative approach to capture seasonal fuel changes

By: Kurtis Nelson, LANDFIRE USGS Technical Lead and Julia Deis, LANDFIRE Operations Lead (SGT),  The Nature Conservancy

The LANDFIRE (LF) team at the USGS EROS Center recently released new provisional products for the Great Basin and Southwest regions of the United States that capture the seasonal nature of fuels in this region. This is the second region where Modeling Dynamic Fuels with an Index System (MoD-FIS) are being developed.
  • In the  Great Basin and Southwest U.S., MoD-FIS incorporates seasonal variability of herbaceous cover (i.e. cheatgrass) to capture changes to fire behavior fuel models based on the current fire season herbaceous production. 
  • In the  Southeast U.S., MoD-FIS data are produced based on changes in drought level and are currently available operationally through the Wildland Fire Decision Support System. Note: These data will be made available through the LF website in the future. 
Read about MoD-FIS development, data process steps and the current status of product releases, and take a look at what's ahead.

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

Please log your burns!

The Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association (OPBA), is an incorporated nonprofit, created to support local burn associations and develop new ones across Oklahoma. OPBA's goals are to increase landowners' capacity to do neighbor to neighbor prescribed burns for reduction of fuel loads, wildlife habitat improvement, increasing grassland production and enhancing public health and safety of all Oklahomans. The organization provides Oklahoma landowners with access to support, training and equipment to safely implement prescribed fire on their lands. 

But OPBA also collects prescribed burn data beyond Oklahoma. An online form is available to log prescribed burns and it does not need names or exact locations. It is for anyone that burns in any state: private, state and federal. As of early May, there were 211 burns entered for 2017 from nine states.  

John Weir, president of the Board of Directors of OPBA explains, "The burn entry form is a way we can gather information about when and why people are burning. This gives us information about burns that may not be reported to assist with grant funding for burn associations, for equipment and training. It also provides us with great information about escapes and spitfires, right now showing us really how safe burning is. This information has been used to develop liability insurance and assist with fire law amendments in a couple of states."

For more information about the organization and the online form contact John Weir, President of the Board of Directors of OPBA, john.weir@okstate.edu

Web Site Advertises National Wildland Fire Training

USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, State & Private Forestry News, June 2017

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. --- A Web site has been developed to help advertise wildland fire training opportunities across the country. This "one-stop shopping" approach was created to reduce confusion and duplication. 

Wildland fire training is available to National Wildfire Coordinating Group member agencies. Students attending these courses first must be affiliated with one of the following: USDA Forest Service, U.S. Department of the Interior agencies, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Fire Administration, Intertribal Timber Council, National Association of State Foresters, or International Association of Fire Chiefs. 

The Web site is managed by the Training Information Communications System Committee, which is comprised of the Training Specialist/Geographic Area Training Representative (GATR) from each Geographic Area. The committee's mission is to simplify the training communication system with improving service to the customer and reducing duplication in training administrative services. 

The Geographic Area Training Representative for the Eastern Area is Matthew (Matt) Dillon. View the training opportunities on the National Wildland Fire Training Web site.


July Fire Science Webinar Recording
The recording of the July 12th " Exorcising Natural Fire Precisionism in Southeastern Fire Management " webinar with Kevin Hiers has been posted to the  Southern Fire Exchange YouTube page . If you missed this fascinating webinar that touched on Southeastern regional topics in fire history, fire ecology and prescribed fire management, be sure to sit down with some colleagues and watch it during your lunch break. For more background information, check out these two rel
ated publicationsHiers et al. 2016   and    Freeman et al. 2017 .
Fire Learning Trail Webinar Recording Available
A recording of last month's webinar about a Fire Learning Trail is now available on the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers & Scientists (CAFMS) website. In the webinar, Jen Bunty covered a lot of useful specific information on how they designed signs, produced podcasts to go with them, and ran a social media campaign about the role of fire in their forests. 

Superfog Webinar Series Recordings Available
The NWCG Smoke Committee held a series of webinars last month on wildland fire smoke and roadway visibility (covering superfog and patterns of ground-level smoke movement and smoke-induced fog). The emphasis was on planning tools to help predict when-and where-such events might take place, long enough in advance that action can be taken to reduce risk. Recordings and slides are on the Emissions & Smoke Portal of the Fire Research and Management Exchange System ( frames.gov) website.

August 23, 2017, 1:00 pm ET.1:00 PM ET - The Path Back: Oaks Facilitating Longleaf Pine Seedling Success on Xeric Sites
Presented by: Louise Loudermilk, Ph.D. Do deciduous midstory oaks on xeric sandhill sites hurt or help longleaf pine seedlings? Intuitive or blasphemy? New research suggests that the presence of midstory oaks on xeric sandhill sites can significantly improve microsite conditions for less than 2 year old longleaf pine seedlings by reducing soil temperature and lowering moisture loss due to evaporation.  Click here to register for this webinar.

November 2017 (exact date TBD) Natural Hazards Mitigation Planning Coffee Break Webinar Series: "Integrating Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans and Community Wildfire Protection Plans"   Learn more and register by either clicking the tab on the left titled "Register for an Upcoming Webinar" or to http://j.mp/starronlinetraining and search for 'STARR'. Registration and dates are generally announced 2 to 3 months in advance. 

More fire-related webinars are listed on the Southern Fire Exchange website at:  http://www.southernfireexchange.org/Web_Event/Webinars.html

Upcoming Events, Training, and Networking

Prescribed Burn Certification Courses

October 4-5, 2017 Prescribed Burn Certification Class in Rock Spring, GA
Sponsored by Georgia Forestry Commission. Get more details and register online here

December 5-6, 2017 Prescribed Burn Certification Class in Waycross, GA. 
Sponsored by Georgia Forestry Commission. More details coming soon. 

State Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meetings 

September 6, 2017 - Alabama Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting 
Chilton County 8 AM - 4 PM at Jefferson State Community College, Clanton Campus, 1850 Lay Dam Road, Clanton. For more information and to register click here

September 6-7, 2017 - North Carolina Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting/Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists 
The meeting is a joint effort of these two organizations. It will be held at the Hyatt Place in Asheville, NC with a field tour on the second day. Please visit the following website:

September 22, 2017 - Central Florida Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting
The meeting will be held in Kissimmee, FL. More details and registration can be found here

September 26-27, 2017 - South Carolina Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting
Full agenda will be available online soon and will be posted on the website:

September 28, 2017 - Georgia Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting 
The meeting will be held at the Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, GA. Registration information will be available closer to the meeting date. Please visit the following website:

October 24, 2017 - North Florida Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting
The meeting will be held in West Palm Beach, FL. More details TBD.

October 25, 2017 - North Florida Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting
The meeting will be held in Tallahassee, FL. More details TBD.

Training Events

August 15-18, 2017 - S130/190, Florida 
See flyer below for more details. 

October 23rd - 25, 2017 - S219 Firing Operations, Carolina Beach, NC 
The Nature Conservancy of North Carolina will be hosting this 3-full days course. There is no tuition but students will be responsible for providing their own housing and meals. Applicants should email Mansfield Fisher mansfield.fisher@tnc.org to enroll in the course. Please contact Angie Carl acarl@tnc.org or Mike Norris mnorris@tnc.org if you have any questions regarding the course. 

November 14-16, 2017 - Longleaf Academy: Fire & Longleaf F201, Lufkin, TX
A 2-1/2 day course for landowners and natural resource professional in the use of prescribed fire in longleaf pine systems. Live fire demonstration, weather permitting Limited spots available. For more information, contact Karen@longleafalliance.org or call (334) 427-1029 


October 3-5, 2017 - 4th Biennial Shortleaf Pine Conference
Stockton Seaview Hotel in Galloway, New Jersey. The conference will feature 20+ sessions on land management practices, forest restoration, wildlife habitat and more, as well as an in-person look at shortleaf restoration in New Jersey's own Pine Barrens. For more information or to register for the event, visit: http://shortleafpine.net/shortleaf-pine-initiative/conference

October 24-26, 2017 - Oak Symposium: Sustaining Oak Forests in the 21st Century through Science-Based Management / Knoxville, TN 
Click here for more information. 

Nov. 28-Dec. 2, 2017 - AFE International Fire Congress / Orlando, FL 
The Association for Fire Ecology (AFE) and Southern Fire Exchange will be co-hosting "Fire Vision 20/20: A 20 Year Reflection and Look into the Future." Various calls for proposals are open (check for topics and closing dates). Rx310 will also be offered concurrently with the conference (details); nominations are due by September 29. Information: http://afefirecongress.org/

2018 Events - Plan Ahead 

Oct. 24-26, 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 longleafalliance.org for more details. 

Visit the Southern Fire Exchange for listings of conferences, webinars, workshops and field tours at:

Technology and Information You Can Use Now
  • Fire Behavior Field Reference Guide (PMS437) Now Available from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. FBANs, LTANs, and Fire Behavior Operational Personnel it is time to review and refresh your knowledge and skills! The 2017 FBFRG is now available at: https://www.nwcg.gov/sites/default/files/publications/pms437.pdf
    Questions? Please contact: Tami Parkinson (Chair, Fire Behavior Subcommittee) at tparkinson@fs.fed.us
  • InciWeb Incident Information System with current incidents (including prescribed burns), updates, photos, and more.
  • The Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) is an online collection of >1,100 peer-reviewed syntheses on fire ecology and fire regimes in the United States. 
  • After Fire: A team led by Katelyn Driscoll and Megan Friggens of the Rocky Mountain Research Station-and including Anne Bradley (abradley@tnc.org)-has released the final report on the USDA Climate Hub project "After Fire: A Synthesis and Toolkit to Help Resource Managers, Communities, and Landowners Plan for and Mitigate Secondary Fire Effects." The toolkit is online at https://postfiresw.info/. While the focus is on the Southwest, many of the resources have use across a broader geographic area.
Job Postings

Wildland Firefighter Apprentice Wildland Restoration International (WRI) has recently advertised for several new positions throughout the Southeast.

Seeking Fire Management Officer with Big Cypress Seminole Reservation. The Fire Management Officer is responsible for planning, managing and coordinating wildland fire management program for the Seminole Tribe of Florida's Environmental Resources Department on all of its tribal lands. Details and application at:

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

Online Job Boards: 

Basic Wildland 
Training Course

This course is designed to provide entry-level firefighter skills, and is often required for participation in prescribed burning activities. Participants will receive federally- recognized NWCG certificates for S130, S190, and L180.

Course topics include:
  • Proper tactics to extinguish fire with or without the use of water
  • Why lookouts, communications, escape routes, and safety zones are important
  • The primary factors affecting the start and spread of wildfire
  • How to recognize potentially hazardous situations
  • Environmental factors of fuels, weather, and topography that affect the spread of wildland fire
Presented in a hybrid format (both the online and in-person trainings are required)

Online trainings:
Prior to the in-person training, participants MUST complete two self-paced online trainings:
  • The FEMA IS-100 course online (2-4 hours of training; must bring proof of completion on Aug 15, 2017)
  • The S-190 course (6-8 hours of training, link provided on July 31, 2017; test to be taken on first day of in-person training).
In-person training:
  • Classroom: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday (8/15, 8/16, 8/18) will consist of classroom instruction (9am-5pm, we'll finish early on Friday) at the Waccasassa Forestry Center in Gainesville, FL
  • Field: Thursday (8/17) will be an all-day field training (8am-5pm) at Ordway-Swisher Biological Station in Melrose, FL. Transportation is provided, departing from the classroom. 
For more details and online registration:

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 Issue 24 (February 2017)

LANDFIRE Bulletin & Post Card ( current edition )

Partners for Conservation News (current news)

REPI Program Newsletter (current edition)

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)

Tall Timbers eNews and eJournal

Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center Two More Chains (current edition)