A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
No. 12                                                                              September 2017
Welcome to the Driptorch Digest,  an online newsletter for the  Southern prescribed fire community.  You can receive the Driptorch Digest  on a regular basis 
by  subscribing at the bottom of this newsletter .  
Southeast Cohesive Fire Management Strategy Success Story

Aggressive Prescribed Fire Program Reduces Wildfire Severity at Eglin Air Force Base
Written by: Holly Campbell, Southern Regional Extension Forestry, and James Furman, USDA Forest Service
Over four long days in late March 2011, the most severe wildfire outbreak in a decade occurred at Eglin Air Force Base, located near Destin, Florida. A persistent drought, 20 mph winds and low humidity, combined with 12-15 arson fires on the property, resulted in 6,000 acres burned in a matter of days.  
Wildfires as seen from Interstate 10 on the afternoon of March 25, 2011. Credit: Eglin Air Force Base staff.

The wildfires burned not only significant acreage, but also strained Eglin wildland firefighter capacity, leading to internal and external assistance. A unified command post was established to efficiently fight the wildfires. Leadership and support staff were provided by the Eglin Fire and Emergency Service, Florida Forest Service, local volunteer fire departments, and Okaloosa and Walton Emergency Management personnel. 

Read the entire story  here

Prescribed Burn Association Updates

PBAs Continuing to Form Across the Country 
Currently there are PBAs in ten states. Oklahoma has 21 with work going on to form two new ones before the year is up. Nebraska has 15, Texas 13, Kansas 12, Missouri 3, with North Carolina, South Dakota, Colorado, Mississippi, and Illinois all have one. 

For a map of current PBAs, visit the Great Plains Fire Science Exchange. There has also been interest in forming PBAs in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. For more information about PBAs, check out "The value of forming a prescribed burn association" and "Prescribed Burn Associations; consider using them when speaking with landowners and groups interested in learning more. This PBA website also contains numerous resources. 

NC Sandhills PBA Completes First Year of Outreach
with Donated Burn Trailer 
Contributor: Stephanie Wagner, Sandhills Area Land Trust (SALT)

The NC Sandhills PBA just wrapped up a year of outreach using a burn trailer donated by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). Thanks to this generous in-kind grant to the NC Sandhills Longleaf, Longleaf Private Lands Project (funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and its supplemental funders), the burn trailer accomplished the following: 
  • Used at 12 private landowner burns
  • 8 of these landowners became NC Certified Burners
  • Used at 2 landowner field days for 60 private landowners, including minority landowners
  • Used for community education on "Fire Culture" at the Party for the Pine/Fire Festival in Moore County (attended by 1,300 people)
  • Used for fire ecology field days for 350 elementary school students in Harnett County
  • Used for a demonstration burn for 20 high school students in Moore County
PBA Special Session at AFE Congress
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

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. 

Do you have an update you'd like to share? Let us know!

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). 

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

By David Godwin, Southern Fire Exchange

Simple Smoke Screen Model
SFE is now hosting the Simple Smoke Screen Model.  After a one year absence, the model is now back with a new home on the web and an expanded map viewer.  Learn More>>

Tall Timbers Book on Quail Management
Tall Timbers Research Station has recently published a new  Bobwhite Quail Management Handbook  based on decades of quail management and biology research. The 160 page guide was written to be an essential tool for land managers, foresters, land owners and hunters.  Read more>>

PB-Piedmont Smoke Model Online
The PB-Piedmont Smoke Model that was once only available as a software package is now online thanks to a project hosted by the Desert Research Institute.  PB-Piedmont is a smoke model originally developed for forecasting potential low level smoke movement downslope of drainages and other topographic features. For more information check out the   Model Online  and the PB-Piedmont Users Guide .

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

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announces $5.5 million in grants to support the restoration of the longleaf ecosystem in nine states

Awarded through the Longleaf Stewardship Fund, the grants are expected to generate more than $7 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of $12.5 million. With the addition of these accomplishments, NFWF's Longleaf Stewardship Fund will reach a historic milestone, surpassing 1 million acres of longleaf pine restored or enhanced. 

The grants will support conservation work in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Many of these include prescribed burning. A complete list of the 2017 grants made through the Longleaf Stewardship Fund is available here. For more details, r ead more.

Cooperative Extension & Educator's Corner

New Fact Sheet

Prescribed Burning: Spotfires and Escapes is a new 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.


Opportunities to Become Involved
There are several Upcoming meetings & conferences for Extension/educators currently working on wildland fire programming and those interested in becoming involved. 
2017 Southern Extension Forestry Retreat
October 10-11, 2017- Cheaha State Park, Delta, Alabama
A wildland fire session will be held on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 10. The goal of the session is to explore ways to increase Extension's role in wildland fire educational programming. For more information & to register, click here

FireVision 20/20 - The 7th Association for Fire Ecology (AFE) International Fire Congress
November 28-December 2, 2017- Buena Vista Palace Resort, Orlando, Florida
The Congress is hosting several wildland fire education presentations and discussions directly applicable to Extension personnel and other educators, including:
  • Special Session: Exploring Past & Future Roles of the Cooperative Extension Service in U.S. Fire Education, Wednesday, Nov. 29Five speakers will present on successful Extension responses to wildfire, wildland fire training opportunities for Extension, wildland fire educational resources to support public and landowner education, successful wildland fire volunteer education programs, and Extension future roles in fire education.
  • Fire Circle:  Wildland Fire Education and Outreach: Collaboration and Strategy to Increase Impact, Thursday, Nov. 30. This discussion period will focus on ways education and outreach partners can most effectively promote fire science application and management to private landowners, communities and the public.  

National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative: Grassland Quality Video

Unfortunately, fire has been largely missing from rangelands for decades and in its absence range health has declined and woody encroachment is robbing producers of productive pastures. Prescribed fire is a proven tool to control woody encroachment and restore range health, increasing livestock production. Click here to enjoy this new video!


By Jeannie Patton

Alexa McKerrow, USGS Ecologist
LF and GAP Address Challenges of Land Cover Mapping
Alexa McKerrow is an  ecologist and  remote sensing analyst who has been with the U.S. Geological Society's National Gap Analysis Program (GAP) since the mid-1990s. She started her USGS career in 2008, and now leads a team of geographic information specialists involved in a variety of projects for the  Core Science Analytics and Synthesis Program . Alexa is on the LF Remap Strategy Team , researching improvements in land cover mapping methodology. Read our interview with Alexa and learn how LF and GAP address challenges of land cover mapping. 

Customized LANDFIRE Webinar Options
LANDFIRE has co-hosted dozens of customized webinars over the last five years. Many are posted on the  LANDFIREvideo YouTube channel, but we've purged the older ones in order to make room for current topics. You and your colleagues/constituents can plan one with us; we have the process dialed in. Among ideas we're currently noodling, we're ready to talk about MoD-FIS in the southeast,LANDFIRE applications, how to perform functions, customized tutorials, etc. Contact Jeannie Patton to discuss your project.

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)  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

Prescribed Fire and Snags in Shortleaf Pine Woodlands

This restoration work is part of a much larger campaign across the Southern Region - around a million acres of national forest are being restored and managed as fire-adapted woodlands - including longleaf pine ecosystems and shortleaf pine woodlands.   Read more of this article in CompassLive from Jennifer Moore Myers and the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station.

Funding Opportunities for Fire-related Projec ts

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.The interagency Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) intends to request proposals through one or more formal Funding Opportunity Notice (FON) announcements beginning approximately September 8, 2017. The intent of this notice is to provide an early alert to investigators interested in the topics listed below so that they can begin considering responsive ideas with potential partners and collaborators.

2017 Longleaf  Pine Private Landowner Incentive Program
Applications are still being accepted until September 15th in the Ocala, FL region (counties listed below), with the website to be updated soon. 

The Florida Forest Service is accepting applications for the Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentives Program. The program offers incentive payments for: longleaf pine seedling establishment, timber stand improvement, prescribed burning, native plant understory establishment, mechanical underbrush treatments, invasive exotic plant treatment. All payments are made at specified per-acre or per-seedling rates. The program is limited to these Florida counties: Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Citrus, Clay, Lake, Levy, Marion, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia Counties. Qualified landowners may apply for up to four approved practices per year. The minimum tract size requirement is 10 acres, and funding requests may not exceed $10,000. Only one application per landowner is permitted per year. Contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester to apply.

Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire
The Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire (CPAW) program works with communities to reduce wildfire risk within the wildland-urban interface through improved land use planning. We have worked with 18 communities since 2015, and are now accepting applications from eligible communities for 2018. Please visit the the CPAW application webpage for full details.


September 20, 3 p.m. ET. LANDFIRE: Tools and Data for Large Landscape Management. -- Co-hosting with Network for Landscape Conservation for the NPS "Scaling Up" webinar series. Presenter: Randy Swaty.  Register here .
September 26, 2 p.m. ET (noon Mountain)  LANDFIRE - All Lands Data from Vegetation to Fuels: Planning, Engagement, and Feedback
Co-hosting with  U tah State University Forestry Extension . Presenter: Henry Bastian, Department of Interior Business Lead Information and registration.

September 28, 1:00pm. Green Value, A tool for simplified financial analysis of forest-based initiatives .  Green Value is a tool being adapted for use in the USA by its developers, the Earth Innovation Institute (EII) and the USDA Forest Service. Dr. Shoana Humprhies and Dr. Thomas Holmes will introduce this tool designed to support the needs of family forestland owners and conservation land managers. Visit  ForestryWebinars.net  and search for "Live Webinars" (always free).

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 here.

More fire-related webinars are listed on the Southern Fire Exchange webinar page

Upcoming Events, Training, and Networking

Prescribed Burn Certification Courses

September 25-29, 2017 "Prescribed Fire as a Management Tool" offered by The Nature Conservancy at Camp Robinson, North Little Rock, Arkansas. Cost is $350-$400. Class begins Monday at noon and ends Friday at 2 pm. Contact Charlotte Bornemeier for information.

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. 

South Carolina Forestry Commission 1-day Classes are held in October through December. Certification requires that an individual complete the training, pass a written exam, and document their burning experience. $50 registration fee. Contact Leslie Woodham at the SC Forestry Commission for more information at 803-896-8809.

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

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 - South Florida Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting
The meeting will be held in West Palm Beach, FL. More details coming soon.

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

Training Events

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 

February 21-23, 2018 -  Tulsa, OK. Registration is now open (click here) for the 2018 Oklahoma Natural Resources Conference (OKNRC) scheduled for  at the Hyatt Regency in Tulsa, OK. Early registration ends February 1, 2018.

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:

Job Postings

Wildland Restoration International (WRI) Job Announcement:
Fire and Restoration Crew Member, Per Diem 
See the job description for several as needed positions

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: 

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)