A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
No. 16                                                                         January 2018

Welcome to the Driptorch Digest, 
an online newsletter for the Southern prescribed fire community. 

We're looking forward to another year of sharing your successes and providing you with prescribed fire related information. May 2018 bring us lots of burning opportunities!

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.  
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 & Scientists (CAFMS). 

Written by David Godwin, Southern Fire Exchange

AFE Fire Ecology Conference Recap
Thank you to everyone who volunteered, presented, contributed and attended the 7th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress in Orlando earlier in the month. The University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF IFAS) recorded the plenary, AFEx, prescribed fire science and cooperative extension special session presentations and the recordings should start to show up online early in 2018. Check out some photos (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmb9tjvv) and a video from the overnight trip down to Big Cypress National Preserve (https://youtu.be/iYttMSpg64M).

Return of the La Nina 
La Nina conditions have returned again this year and are forecast to impact weather patterns this winter. For many areas in the South that means warmer and drier conditions coupled altered fuels from hurricane season. For more details and a discussion, check out this fantastic blog post from the NOAA website.

Help SFE Offset Federal Budget Cuts with Your Stories
We need stories about how you've used, shared or applied information from the Southern Fire Exchange in your work, management programs, on your property, or in your classroom. Funding for the Joint Fire Science Program, the organization that provides the grants under which all of the Fire Science Exchanges operate, has been cut by over half in the proposed federal budget. Specific success stories can be invaluable for communicating the impacts of our programs. Share your story here.

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.
Congratulations to the 
Grandfather Restoration Collaborative
Partners included multi-jurisdiction prescribed burns in their restoration projects.

The Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest and a collaborative group ofpartners from the community, non-profits, and local and state groups have received the 2017 Restored and Resilient Landscapes Award from the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region. Since 2012, the Grandfather Restoration Collaborative has been working on restoration projects across the Grandfather Ranger District. In 2017, only six years into the eight year project time frame, the Grandfather Restoration Project has already exceeded its restoration goal of 40,000 acres. See the back story here.

Prescribed Fire Council Updates

Virginia Prescribed Fire Council offers prescribed fire contractors/businesses the option of listing their organization as resource to the public seeking prescribed fire services in Virginia. Disclaimer: There is no implied recommendation beyond providing contact information and advertisement space on this webpage.

Annual Meetings
Many Prescribed Fire Councils have recently held their annual meetings. Check on your state's website to find an event near you.

Prescribed Burn Vendor Databases

Did you know that many states in the South provide online vendor lists and/or databases for prescribed burning either on the state forestry agency website, or through the Prescribed Fire Council? On these sites, prescribed burn contractors can add their business to a list where private landowners can then search the database to find a contractor who offers prescribed burning in their area. We have compiled all of the databases and/or lists from southern states on this site. If you know of a private landowner looking for a contractor, or a contractor looking for more business opportunities, be sure to pass this information along!


New Tools and Applications

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

People involved in land management, vegetation, habitat, natural resources, fuels and fire management, or geographic information systems will be particularly interested in these chances to engage with LANDFIRE.  For more details please visit: http://www.landfire.gov/participate_refdata.php

Data Submissions (plots and polygons)
WHEN:  The next data submission deadline is March 31, 2018. 
WHAT:  Contribution of data to the LF program, including plots, polygons, events, exotics, lidar related to vegetation or fuels, and feedback information. Your data is always welcome, so please provide it as soon as you can to ensure it is available for any effort in the LF production process. 
WHY:  Data incorporated into LF will help the landscape data reflect on-the-ground conditions as closely as possible. 
WHO: Brenda Lundberg, LF Data Administrator ( brenda.lundberg.ctr@usgs.gov )

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

Friday Flash eNews: The Fire Learning Trail podcasts are a series of 5 audio experiences that focus on the history and beautiful Linville Gorge in western North Carolina. Many people relate to this area of the Appalachian mountains even if they have never been there because it has been featured in so many movies, television show and even car commercials. But what most people don't know is the natural history of the Gorge and the role that fire played in many the area what can be seen today. Take a listen and learn more at:  https://soundcloud.com/firelearningtrail

The Interagency Fuel Treatment Decision Support System (IFTDSS) is a new and exciting tool. If you have not accessed it yet, take a look at this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/2ZfWsXD46Ig  
The development of the tool was a 8-year project that included the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the USDA Forest Service, US Department of Interior/Bureau of Indian Affairs, and US Department of the Interior/Bureau of Land Management. The developers plan to continue improving the functions of the tool by encouraging users to contribute their Ideas Exchange Forum. Learn more at this Link.

Prescribed Burn Association Updates

In December 2017, the NC Sandhills Prescribed Burn Association posted a new video, "Prescribed Fire 101" which provides a great overview of the educational efforts of this North Carolina PBA. 

Prescribed Burn Alliance of Texas has a great webpage with links and contact information for all of its PBA members associations. From this webpage you can view a map of the counties in each association, or download and print the map .

Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network
Seven Stories of Good Fire on the Ground in 2017

By Allison Jolley, communications manager,
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network

We recently asked our members and partners to tell us about their controlled burning efforts. Seven practitioners shared stories with us; each one presenting a unique twist on prescribed fire.    Read the full article here.
Customize Your 
Burn Weather Forecast

Thanks to Kent Evans and Trey Whitley in TX for this great idea to help prepare for your next rx burn! 
Download the Weather Underground app, then set up a "smart forecast" for your burn by following a series of prompts. Instead of choosing the template "hobbies" such as surfing and kite flying, you can create your own "prescribed burn" forecast by choosing the desirable parameters for wind direction, wind speed, temperatures, precipitation, etc. as you have outlined in your burn plan, then the app will tell you if/when those forecast conditions are within the next week! 
Wildland Fire and Military Lands Sustainability

Distance Education Masters with Prescribed Fire Component
Want to stand out to those hiring for natural resource positions within the bases or for agencies or firms that engage the military in natural resource management? The Graduate Certificate in Military Land Sustainability provides students and professionals the opportunity to develop recognized academic credentials and the advanced expertise required to work for military bases and associated lands sustainability projects. Read more here

US Department of Defense Sponsored Research Opportunity - deadline January 4, 2018 by 2 p.m. ET.
The objective of this Statement of Need (SON) is to improve understanding of ignition patterns, self-organization of convective structures, and near-fire smoke plume development for the purpose of improving management of fire for military land-use. Please contact Kurt Preston at kurt.t.preston@usace.army.mil . To download a copy of the full RFP, please click here .
ForestryImages.net_  5427077_ Chris Evans University of Illinois
Inspiration for Women of Wildland Fire

NC State University, College of Natural Resources (CNR) posted a little video on the CNR website. We hope it might inspire an interest in prescribed fire education and practice among students of both genders. See the video here.

In addition, on January 10, there will be a webinar entitled, "The Wildfire Within: Firefighter perspectives on gender and leadership in wildland fire" hosted by the Southwest Fire Science Consortium. Learn more and register here

Funding Opportunities

Accelerating Rx Burns on NRCS Contracts Working Lands for Wildlife   The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) seeks applications to accelerate implementation of prescribed burns on Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) contract lands in Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The focus is on NRCS contracts awarded in support of the Working Lands for Wildlife. All out-of-schedule prescribed burns on NRCS Practice 338 contracts are eligible. Projects funded in this cycle should plan to conclude no later than December 31, 2019.  This opportunity closes Friday, January 17, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. 

NFWF Longleaf Stewardship Fund  The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is soliciting proposals to expand and enhance longleaf pine ecosystem restoration and management across longleaf pine's historical range, as well as the restoration and enhancement of bottomland hardwood forests within priority focal areas.  Interested applicants may contact Jon Scott at  jonathan.scott@nfwf.org  with any questions and to discuss project ideas.  Proposals must be submitted by 11:59pm (Eastern Time) on Thursday, February 8, 2018 via NFWF's online application system in order to be considered. 

NFWF Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is seeking proposals within the Cumberland Plateau that will help accelerate the restoration and enhancement of critical forest and freshwater habitats and associated wildlife species in the region. 
Proposals must be submitted by  11:59pm  (Eastern Time) on Thursday, February 15, 2018  via NFWF's online application system in order to be considered.

NFWF Lower MS Alluvial Valley  The Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley Restoration Fund will award grants to expand bottomland hardwood and wetland restoration, enhancement, conservation, and protection on private and public lands to improve wildlife habitat and water quality. 
Full Proposal Due Date: January 25, 2018

www.wildfirePrepDay.org  Application period January 8 - March 2, 2018 for one of 150 project funding awards at $500 each.  If you are thinking about what activities you and your family, friends, and neighbors would like to do to improve your wildfire preparedness capabilities, consider participating in next year's Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 5, 2018.

Webinars and Videos

Prescribed Fire 101 - landowner-level video from North Carolina's Sandhills Prescribed Burn Association as part of a forest landowner education program.

RX Fire-101 webinar1.5 hour technical video with Alan Long of the Southern Fire Exchange in partnership with the NWCG Smoke Committee. This recorded webinar is a great overview of prescribed burning for anyone new to the art, science, and practice of intentional burning. 

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. 

The LANDFIRE 2017 webinar series is completed, but if you missed any, you can find them at the LANDFIRE YouTube channel

More fire-related webinars are archived on the Southern Fire Exchange website at: 

Upcoming Events, Training, and Networking

Prescribed Burn Certification Courses

May 8-10, 2018 - Prescribed Fire Training, Woodworth Outdoor Education Center.

NC Forest Service Prescribed Burner Training Dates for Spring 2018
January 23rd and 24th, 2018: Fayetteville Agricultural Center in Cumberland County
February 15th and 16th, 2018: Scotland County Cooperative Extension Services in Laurinburg
You can register for the January class at this link.

Southern Fire Exchange has a useful Education and Training web page at:

Fire Fests

January 27, 2018 - Red Hills Fire Festival, Tall Timbers, Tallahassee, FL. For More Information Contact: Brian Wiebler, 850-893-4153, ext. 345 or email,  bwiebler@talltimbers.org

Training Events

Jan.14-Feb. 9, 2018.  Wildlife Firefighter Apprenticeship Program . The Wildland Firefighter Apprentice Program is an accredited, educational program designed to enhance and develop future Fire and Aviation Managers. The intent of the Program is to take a career entry firefighter and provide education, training and paid work experience over a 12 to 48 month period, depending on experience. Upon successful completion of all the requirements of the Apprenticeship Program, the apprentice will reach journey-level status as a wildland firefighter.

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

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

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

Firefighter 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.

Conferences and Workshops 

Feb. 27-March 1, 2018 - 2018 Wildland Urban Interface Conference, Peppermill Resort, Reno, NV. Join 
hundreds of the most influential people in wildland firefighting, forestry, land use and community planning all in one place. The educational sessions, hands-on exercises, and exhibit floor all offer numerous opportunities to share ideas and connect with other industry colleagues.

March 26-29, 2018 - National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy WorkshopPeppermill Resort, Reno, NV. "Making a Difference - Building Capacity, Improving Preparedness, and Learning form Experience." This conference is hosted by the International Association of Wildland Fire, in partnership with Wildland Fire Leadership Council and the Western, Southeastern and Northeastern Regional Strategic Committees.
Click Me!

May 21-24, 2018 - The Fire Continuum Conference, University of Montana, Missoula, MT.
Visit the conference website at Keynote speaker, Tony Tooke, USDA Forest Service Chief.
Click the image to the right for full details. 

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. 

Save the Date 

May 5, 2018 will mark the fifth anniversary of Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. The application period to receive a $500 project award is January 8 - March 2, 2018. www.wildfirePrepDay.org

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

  • Texas Prescribed Burning Handbook allows practitioners to access information virtually to understand prescribed burn planning and tools.
  • Prescribed Burn Contractor Databases for many states in the South provide online vendor databases for prescribed burning either on the state forestry agency website, or through the Prescribed Fire Council. On these sites, prescribed burn contractors can add their business to a list where private landowners can then search the database to find a contractor who offers prescribed burning in their area.
  • Northwest Fire Science Consortium Fire Facts available online and for download. These are brief, to the point fact sheets, covering a variety of fire-related topics.
  • Earth Wind Map
    A website with fascinating and useful animated map of global weather conditions. Click anywhere on the planet to see real-time surface wind conditions, temperature and more.
  • PB-Piedmont Online. The original smoke model designed for modeling smoke movement down drainages within the Piedmont region of the Southeast is now online thanks to the Desert Research Institute.  
  • Prescribed Burning: Spotfires and Escapes  A fact sheet from Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service along with six other southern and southwestern universities. The fact sheet contains excellent photos and illustrations specific to the concerns of spot-overs and escapes.
  • Fire Behavior Field Reference Guide (PMS437) Now Available from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.  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. 
Job Postings

Fire Effects Monitor: The National Park Service is hiring a seasonal Fire Effects Monitor to be based in the Shenandoah National Park. Details are on usajobs.gov (announcement number NPS-FIRE-2018-045-DE); applications are due by January 9.

Prescribed Fire Corps Project Leader with Student Conservation Association (SCA) in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, seeks qualified applicants to lead, educate, and inspire young adults for the Prescribed Fire Corps programs in the southeast U.S., January - May 2018. See the job description for full detail and how to apply.

Wildland Restoration International (WRI) Job Announcements:
See the job descriptions for positions in Florida and Southeastern US. 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

Kelley Duffield McCarter - Production Assistant
NC State University, College of Natural Resources
Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources
Campus Box 8008
Raleigh, NC 27695-8008