A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
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
Florida Partnership Enables Landscape-Level Prescribed Burn
Written By: Holly Campbell, Southern Regional Extension Forestry
During March 2018, a 1,333 acre prescribed burn occurred at the Yellow River Water Management Area in Santa Rosa County, Florida. Aerial ignition via helicopter started the fire while ground firing and monitoring crews were stationed at the tract perimeter. The significance of a landscape-level burn is the potential to burn a large area in a short amount of time. A burn at this scale would require careful planning, trained personnel, proper equipment, and significant experience. This landscape-scale burn was made possible through the Gulf Coastal Plain Ecosystem Partnership (GCPEP).
Read the full story here.
2018 Regional Longleaf Award Recipients Announced
Congratulations to all the individuals and organizations honored in this year's Longleaf Awards! While
are fantastic partners, a special congratulations to Jesse Wimberley, recipient of the Burner Bob Award for outstanding efforts in championing prescribed fire to ensure the future of the longleaf ecosystem on private land. An awards luncheon will be held on Wednesday, October 25th during the
Biennial Longleaf Conference
in Alexandria, LA.
New Study Indicates Most Florida Fires Go Undetected
Austin Dixon of Tall Timbers Monitors a Prescribed Burn
Photo Credit: Kevin Robertson
by researchers from Florida State University and Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy showed that the satellites commonly used to estimate the extent and location of fires dramatically underestimate the amount of fire on the landscape when satellite results were compared to fires documented by the Florida Forest Service. State fire records also indicated that Florida experiences less fire during drought, a sign that using prescribed fire for wildfire risk reduction is an effective strategy. While the study results are specific to Florida, researchers suspect similar issues may exist in other regions as well.
The study was published in
Geophysical Research Letters
and can be read in its entirety
Prescribed Fire Training Center Seeks Female Applicants for Three Fire Leadership for Women Modules
The Prescribed Fire Training Center (PFTC) is seeking female applicants for three Fire Leadership for Women Modules during the January, February and March 2019 Sessions. The modules will be led by female Field Coordinators who will encourage discussions on leadership roles and common leadership struggles within fire management organizations.
The three modules will retain all aspects of the typical PFTC 20 day training assignment with participants conducting prescribed fire operations in trainee positions including burn boss, firing boss, fire effects monitor or other prescribed fire positions on multiple burn assignments. Students should expect 10 - 12 days of hands-on burning experience in various fuel types, wildland urban interface situations and with multiple agencies. Additional women guest speakers will be in attendance throughout the session.
are due October 15, 2018. Additional information can be found on the
Sandhills Prescribed Burn Association
Fall Forestry Tour Dates Announced
In cooperation with multiple partners the
Sandhills Prescribed Burn Association
will hold three fall forestry tours in October and November. Tours will provide landowners in the North Carolina Sandhills region an opportunity to learn from other landowners managing longleaf stands in their communities. Tour dates and topics are listed below. No RSVP is required, however additional program and contact information can be found
- October 20 - Richmond County
- Host: Cheryl Conlin, 295 Sycamore Lane, Jackson Springs, NC 27281
- Topics: mid-story hardwood removal on 60+ acres
- November 10 - Hoke County
- Host: Thomas Ammons, 1295 McNeil Lake Rd., Lumbar Bridge NC 28357
- Topics: long-term burn program, basics of thinning and maintaining a pinestraw raking operation
- November 17 - Cumberland County
- Host: Charlie King, 845 McKloskey Rd., Fayetteville NC 28311
- Topics: fire use on unburned stand, also, burning 1-3 year stand and intro to pinestraw raking
Resources and stories, from and/or for
Cooperative Extension Service Faculty and Staff
TELE Workshop Reflection
Patrick Ma, the Seewee Longleaf Conservation Cooperative Coordinator,
authored a blog post
on his experience attending the July workshop on tools for engaging landowners effectively (
). Patrick discusses how the targeted marketing skills taught in the workshop will help his group as they begin planning a "learn and burn" in the low-country of South Carolina.
Wildland Fire Extension Opportunities
There are multiple efforts underway to increase Cooperative Extension's role in educating stakeholders and the general public about wildland fire issues. Extension professionals interested in learning more about opportunities t
o become involved
or fire professionals looking to better connect with their local Extension presence can contact
New Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability Strategic Plan Released
SERPPAS has released its
2018-2020 strategic plan
to help partners and stakeholders better understand its structure, mission, and priorities. Fact sheets are also available for program focus areas, including
Southern Fire Exchange
SFE Leadership Changes
On October 1st Dr. Alan Long retired from SFE after starting and leading the program for nearly 10 years. The SFE team presented him with an award at their annual planning meeting in late August. We will miss him dearly and wish him all the best as he stays busy in retirement. Dr. David Godwin, who has been with SFE since 2013, will be stepping up to fill his position and Dr. Rae Crandall, Assistant Professor at the University of Florida, will be the new lead project P.I.
SFE Releases Two New Fact Sheets
Two new fact sheets are available on the SFE website. The first summarizes the latest fire science related to duff fire mortality and management. The second covers recent smoke science research funded by the Joint Fire Science Program. It discusses work on smoke transport modelling, smoke chemistry, and human health.
US Forest Service Developing Experimental Fire Weather Alert System
Consider trying out the new Fire Weather Alert System (FWAS) from the USDA Forest Service Missoula Fire Lab. Once set up, the program is designed to send the user text and email alerts if weather conditions reach certain parameters within a specified distance from a project area or incident.
Joint Fire Science Program
Project Results: Wildland Fire Smoke Exposure and Risk of Lung Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality
The final report on a project examining the impact on wildland firefighter health due to relative exposure to particulate matter from smoke
is now available
The analysis showed that wildland firefighters may have an increased risk of serious health impacts, including lung cancer and cardiovascular disease due to smoke exposure. Risk increases with career longevity. Additional research is needed in this area, including evaluation of risk for prescribed fire professionals and other incident management team personnel.
Southern Blue Ridge TREX
A Prescribed Fire Training Exchange is coming to the Appalachians
The 2018 Southern Blue Ridge Prescribed Fire Training Exchange will take place from October 29 - November 9 in the Appalachians of North and South Carolina. The objective of this two-week TREX program is to facilitate peer-to-peer, experiential learning for prescribed fire professionals and others interested in advancing their understanding of innovative tools to restore fire-adapted ecosystems. Participants will learn, practice, and share knowledge, skills, and experience in a unique, hands-on training environment focused on the ecological, social, communications, monitoring, and operational dimensions of planning and implementing ecologically-based prescribed fire. More information about the TREX can be seen
. And be sure to monitor #SBRTREX on Twitter to stay up-to-date on information throughout the event!
By: Jeannie Patton, Communications Lead, The Nature Conservancy - LANDFIRE
Remap Process Engagement
LANDFIRE is fully engaged in the Remap process, which will provide a new baseline set of
vegetation and fuels spatial data sets for CONUS, Alaska, Hawai'i and major island territories. Despite budget uncertainties, LANDFIRE Remap production is currently on schedule to deliver the first of six GeoAreas early in CY 2019. The Southeast GeoArea is scheduled for delivery in the first half of CY 2020. Early assessments of data quality are encouraging, and we expect them to continue across the country.
LANDFIRE is now compiling data for the Southeast, the first step in the production process.
about some of the data sets that LANDFIRE uses. All LANDFIRE Program production plans and delivery dates are dependent upon budget decisions, so are subject to change. Information will be provided to the user community should changes be necessary.
DOI Panel Recap and Recording
Above left: Katy Weidenfeller (Director of People and Operations, The Nature Conservancy), Jim Smith, (The Nature Conservancy) and Henry Bastian (Department of the Interior/ Office of Wildland Fire) at the award ceremony at TNC. Above right: Jim Smith (TNC), Clint Curtis (USDA Forest Service), Alexa McKerrow (US Geological Survey National Gap Analysis Project / Core Science Analytics and Synthesis), Henry Bastian (DOI)
On September 10, 2018, a panel consisting of Henry Bastian, Alexa McKerrow, Clint Curtis, and Jim Smith presented
Foundational All-Lands Data for Improving Decisions in Land Management
to the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Policy Analysis in Washington, DC. Among the topics they discussed are the inter-agency and interdepartmental approach to LF's product suite, and a look at applications (both spatial and non-spatial data) and innovations that are changing conservation. A substantive question/answer session followed the presentation. More than 300 people viewed the webinar in person or via streaming video.
Following the panel, a short, informal
award ceremony was held
at the Nature Conservancy's Worldwide Office in Arilington, VA. Additional award ceremonies will be held at the Office of Wildland Fire (OWF), USFS Fire and Aviation Management (FAM), Missoula Fire Science Laboratory (MFSL), USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network
Don't Reinvent the Prescribed Fire Wheel
Planning a prescribed burn this fall (or later)? Consult
this blog post
for some food for thought on managing liability, timing burns, and effective prescribed fire outreach.
about the results of an online needs assessment of natural resources professionals involved in fire programming by SERPPAS Prescribed Fire Working Group Coordinator Jennifer Fawcett is featured.
Fire as Medicine: Fire Dependent Cultures and Re-Empowering American Indian Tribes
Many Native American tribes have a strong cultural connection to fire. These
"fire dependent cultures"
are uniquely positioned to teach other communities about the importance of fire both to humans and the environment.
News from the Fire Learning Network
Fuel Geysers Safety Reminders
A Nature Conservancy crew member was checking the fuel level on a Stihl 461 chainsaw when fuel geysered onto the crew member's clothing. Fortunately, no ignition sources were present. The saw had not been running, but had been in a black metal box on the engine on a hot day (97 F).
Incidents like this are a good reminder to refresh on
fuel tank safety
. In related news, The NWCG Equipment Technology Committee
all five-gallon Wavian fuel cans after four geysering incidents were reported on wildland fires.
Fire & Archaeology
Southwest Fire Science Consortium
, archaeologists and fire managers discuss protecting cultural resources in the context of reintroducing fire on the landscape.
To subscribe to the FLN Network, contact Liz Rank. You can also read past issues of the Networker here.
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 University
This 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
Assistance Available for Prescribed Fire and Habitat Management in North Florida
Wildland Restoration International is available to help public and private landowners and land managers in Florida with prescribed fire and habitat management. WRI is specifically reaching out to private landowners receiving cost share funding from NRCS for prescribed burning who need help getting their contracts completed.
Landowners are eligible in the counties of Levy, Alachua, Putnam, Marion, Flagler, Volusia, Lake, Sumter, Hernando, Polk, Osceola, Manatee, Hardee, and Highlands. If you are interested, contact WRI Fire Program Coordinator Ryan Kennelly at
Natural Hazards Center Quick Response Grant Program
Proposals will be accepted through October 8 for proposals to collect data related to Hurricane Florence. Read the full program guidelines before submission as they have been recently updated.
SFI Grant Program Request for Proposals
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative announced its annual RFP for the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program. Proposals must be submitted through the SFI Online Application Form by 11:59 PM EST Tuesday, October 9, 2018. Additional information, including the RFP, online application portal, and application instructions can be found on the program website.
Additional information on funding opportunities is available at the
Webinars, Videos, and Other Media
- Plant Diversity and Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Longleaf Pine Ecosystems at Military Installations (September 2018) Presenters: Dr. Nina Wurzburger, University of Georgia, Dr. Joe O'Brien, USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station
- Fire in Wetlands: Fire Ecology, Prescribed Fire Planning, and Lessons in Operations (July 2018) Presenters: Carrie Sekerak, U.S. Forest Service Ocala National Forest, David Quisenberry, U.S. Forest Service Ocala National Forest, Mike Drayton, U.S. Forest Service Ocala National Forest
- Lessons Learned From Hosting Fire Festivals (May 2018) Presenters: Angie Carl, The Nature Conservancy of North Carolina and Brian Wiebler, Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy
- Air Quality 101 (May 2018) Presenters: Scot Scofield, Heidi Lesane, Scott Davis, US EPA-Region 4, Jim Boylan, GA Environmental Protection Division, Randy trait, NC Department of Air Quality
- More previously recorded fire-related webinars can be found on the SFE archived webinar page and on the CAFMS Webinars and Presentations page.
Produced by the Joint Fire Science Program, Wildland Fire Education & Training Collaborative (WETC), Southwest Fire Science Consortium, and Northern Arizona University,
this new video
gives an overview of the goals and methods of wildland fuel management, including prescribed fire.
- 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.
Podcasts & Radio
- The Fire Learning Trail - An enhanced interpretive trail with locations throughout the Southern Appalachians, the trail's podcast-style audio tour segments are available online.
- On The Line - A podcast for wildland firefighters, many episodes cover issues of interest to prescribed fire professionals.
- Forest Voices - A podcast showcasing the diverse community of stakeholders in forest stewardship. Many episodes focus on fire and fire management.
- Outside Podcast Episode: The Future of Fire - Prominently featuring the success of prescribed fire in Florida, this podcast explores the many factors hindering the use of prescribed fire to address fire issues in the West, and the possible solutions.
- Perspectives: Prescribed Burns - Kevin Hiers and Dr. Kevin Robertson (Tall Timbers) and Dr. David Godwin (Southern Fire Exchange at the University of Florida) join WFSU in Tallahassee, FL to discuss issues surrounding prescribed fire.
- Got Science Episode: The Science of Forest Fires - Oregon State University Professor John Bailey discusses controlled burning, forest management, and other fire-related issues.
- 99% Invisible Episode: Built to Burn - An excellent overview of how the wildland-urban interface, home construction, and other factors contribute to wildfire issues. Prominently features Dr. Jack Cohen and his research.
Upcoming Events, Training, and Networking
Prescribed Burn Certification Courses
Alabama Forestry Commission's Certified Prescribed Burn Manager Program
offers courses for certification and workshops for re-certification. For more information, contact Marti Davis at 34-240-9332.
Mississippi Forestry Commission's Prescribed Burning Short Course is held three times annually and is designed for anyone wishing to become a Certified Prescribed Burn Manager in Mississippi. While no course is currently scheduled, information on the next available course will be
posted when available
: The 2018 October Certified Burner Training course has been postponed. The course will likely be held in February 2019. For details when available and additional information on requirements for North Carolina Certified Burners, visit the
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!
Various Dates, 2019
- The National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center (PFTC) in Tallahassee, FL
is accepting applications
through October 15, 2018 for FY2019 sessions.
Ongoing - 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.
Visit the Southern Fire Exchange Education and Training page for more opportunities.
Conferences, Workshops & Other Events
October 15-18, 2018
Ecological Forestry Workshop
, The Joseph W. Jones Ecological Center, Newton, GA. Registration is preferred as soon as possible and the course cost is $430, which includes lodging, meals, course materials, and on-site transportation.
October 23-24, 2018 - Central Appalachians Fire Learning Network Annual Workshop, Blacksburg, VA. Information and registration can be found here.
October 23-26, 2018 - The Longleaf Alliance, Alexandria, LA.
The 22nd biennial Longleaf Alliance regional
scheduled to take place at the Holiday
Inn Conference Center in Alexandria, LA., October 24 through 26, 2018. Visit
for more details.
October 26, 2018 - Carolina Field Day, Heatherstone Farm, Stoneboro, SC. Information will be provided by the Carolina Regional Quail Project on many topics, including prescribed fire. Registration is now open, and more information can be found on the event brochure.
November 9-16, 2018
- International Conference on Forest Fire Research, Coimbra, Portugal. Registration can be found
December 11, 2018 - Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains Fire Learning Network, Dahlonega, GA. More details coming soon.
December 10-14, 2018 - International Wildland Fire Safety Summit and 5th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire Conference, Asheville, NC. Registration information and other conference details can be found here.
March 12-14, 2019 - 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.
April 29-May 3, 2019 - Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference, Albuquerque, NM. Call for Papers open through October 31, 2018. Additional information available on the conference website.
Visit the Southern Fire Exchange for more listings of conferences, webinars, workshops and field tours
All job postings are still open as of the Driptorch Digest send date, however application reviews may have begun.
- Integrated Fire and Recreation Internship Program - The Student Conservation Association and US Forest Service Southern Region have partnered to administer this internship designed to to provide college graduates from under-represented and diverse backgrounds with opportunities to gain the skills necessary to launch a career in fire, recreation or natural resource management. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with priority given to those submitted by October 15. Additional information on the positions and application process can be found 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. Review of applications may have begun, however the application does not officially close until November 1.
- 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.
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