A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
No. 24                                                                        September 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.  

Southern Fire Exchange Principal Investigators from Left: Dr. David Godwin, Dr. Raelene Crandall, Dr. Alan Long, Dr. Joe Roise, Dr. Kevin Robertson
Thank Y ou, Ala n! 

We would like to give a huge thank you and congratulations to Dr. Alan Long, who has spent his career working in wildland fire science, and has served as the Administrative Director of the Southern Fire Exchange since its inception. He has played an integral role in wildland fire science and delivery in the Southern region. Alan will be retiring at the end of September, but the Southern Fire Exchange will continue his legacy. 

Southeast Cohesive Fire Management Strategy 

Supporting Western Wildfires and Building Southeast Capacity

Written By: Gary C. Wood, Southeast Regional Coordinator-Cohesive Wildland Fire Strategy 

The Western US is experiencing numerous major wildfires with resources depleted, personnel fatigued from a long siege during record high temperatures, and no major relief in sight. For many years, the Southeast has supplied resources to support the Western fire efforts. Doing so has allowed many agencies to increase their number of qualified fire personnel and allowed personnel to gain valuable experience in fire management and suppression strategies and tactics that can be utilized back home. 

The effort to mobilize resources to support Western fire needs is a true implementation of the Southeastern Regional Action Plan for Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy. Several tasks listed in the 153 item Southeast Regional Action Plan promote National mobilization of resources, training of partner agency personnel, addressing barriers to allow sharing of resources, increasing and maintaining adequate personnel for IMT's, etc. 
Photo via Outside Online
What the West Can Learn from Florida About Forest Fires

Amidst seemingly non-stop coverage of Western fire issues, a  June Outside Online article included the South, describing what Western states can learn from Florida. Focused on Dr. Joe O'Brien, USDA Forest Service and Kevin Hiers, Tall Timbers Research Station, the article delves into the history of fire in the United States, including how Florida's divergence from national wildfire suppression policies created a landscape that may be a model for the future of fire.

Newly Revised & Digitized Range Map of Southeastern Pine Savannas and Woodlands

The South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative has produced a new map showing the newly revised range map of longleaf and slash pine savannas and woodlands across the Southeast. Visit the South Atlantic LCC website for more information on the purpose and data behind the map. 

Special Issue of 
Fire and the Atmosphere

A special issue of  Atmosphere devoted exclusively to fire issues was published in April. Dr. Scott Goodrick with the USDA Forest Service Center for Forest Disturbance Science served as the Special Issue Editor for the issue, which can be accessed here

Extension Connection
Resources and stories, from and/or for
Cooperative Extension Service Faculty and Staff

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 Jennifer Fawcett or Laurel Kays
Association for Fire Ecology

Certification Program Deadline Extended to October 15
The AFE Wildland Fire Professional Certification Program will accept applications through October 15. Professionals and students can apply for six different certification pathways and will be notified of results by December 1. 
Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy

Tall Timbers Announces New Private Lands Burn Team
A new  Private Lands Burn Team will help increase prescribed fire capacity on private lands. For additional information and questions contact Eric Staller

Prescribed Fire as a Butterfly Conservation Tool
Research Associate Dave McElveen traveled to Maryland to help assess the possibility of using prescribed fire to maintain habitat for the Frosted Elfin butterfly. 

Prescribed Fire Science Consortium Secures Department of Defense Grants
Led by Tall Timbers, the Prescribed Fire Science Consortium was awarded four Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program grants to study 3D fuels and fire spread. 
Southern Fire Exchange

Two New Fact Sheets Available: Smoke Research & Duff Fire Science
The first new SFE factsheet, "Summary of Smoke Related Joint Fire Science Program Grants Relevant to the Southeastern US," summarizes a wide range of recently published smoke and air quality research.

The second, "Reintroducing Fire into Long-Unburned Pine Stands: The Duff Problem," summarizes research from a variety of scientific papers and provides insights into challenges and recommendations related to duff fire management. Duff is a layer of partially decayed organic material that builds up  on the forest floor in long-unburned stands and can be a serious challenge for reintroducing fire.

Registration Open for SFE/SERPPAS Webinar: Lessons Learned from Hosting Learn-n-Burn Events
"Learn and Burn" workshops are an
 excellent way for private landowners and others to gain hands-on burning experience and knowledge from expert mentors. This webinar will provide some lessons learned from coordinating these events, and tips to putting one on in the future. Register now to join the event Wed. Oct. 10th 1:00-2:00 PM ET.

SFE Fire in Wetlands Webinar Recording Available
More than 96 southern species are at risk of disappearing due to loss of fire from wetland habitats. This July webinar used examples from the Ocala National Forest to discuss the role of fire in wetland ecology, restoring and maintaining wetlands with fire by incorporating ecological goals in fire planning, tips for during a "no-go" into a "go", and adjusting tactics during wetland burns to achieve the desired results. 

 for a variety of fire science information! 
Join the SFE email list to receive future issues of Fire Lines and other email updates.
Women in Fire

Last year's Women-in-Fire Training Exchange (WTREX) brought together fire professionals of all experience levels for 10 days of hands-on training, networking, and mentoring.  Read perspectives from Virginia attendees on the event and working in a field where women make up a mere 10% of the workforce. 

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

Save the Date: Monday, September 10, 12:15-1:45 PM ET
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Office of Policy Analysis has invited LANDFIRE, the DOI Environmental Achievement Award ("Dream Team") winner, to present a seminar, Foundational All-Lands Data for Improving Decisions in Land Management, on September 10, 2018, in Washington, D.C. as part of their ongoing Seminar Series. The presentation is open to the public via webcast; the recorded event will also be posted to the Office of Policy Analysis website

The LF panel, led by DOI Business Lead Henry Bastian and TNC-LF Project Lead Jim Smith, will share background and information on the program and demonstrate the successful application of LF data to a myriad of wildland fire and "non-fire" land management issues.

Webcast: www.doi.gov/events.  NOTE: DOI updates the Seminar Series and Events websites. LF panel link will "trickle up" on their posted schedule. Additional details will be included in LF's September postcard. In the meantime: SAVE THE DATE!

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

Grant Funding Available to Texas Landowners for Prescribed Burning
Texas A&M Forest Service is accepting grant applications through September 28 to cover prescribed fire costs for private landowners that use professional prescribed fire services. Additional information can be found here. Applications will be accepted online or by mail.

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 ryan.kennelly@wildlandrestoration.org or 352-373-0550.

Additional information on funding opportunities is available at the grants.gov site. 
Prescribed Fire & Wildfire in the News

Fire season in the Western United States brings renewed media attention to wildland fire issues. While the West is a different environment than the Southeast, many of the challenges are common, in particular the need to restore fire to landscapes for a myriad of reasons, including wildfire risk reduction. 

The 477 Fire That Wasn't
 "Extreme drought, record high temperatures, and strong winds meant that the 416 Fire, along with dozens of smaller wildfires, required aggressive suppression tactics to catch - except the 477 Fire, which had ignited in the burn scar of the previous years managed burn. Thanks to the reduction in ground fuels, the 477 Fire became the wildfire that didn't happen."
Read more.

When It Comes To Wildfire, Politics Lag Behind Science 
"But a variety of forest experts say that one of the best ways to reduce the threat of these mega-blazes is to use fire itself. They say we need to increase the pace of prescribed fire and let some wildfires continue to burn when it's safe to do so. Of course, there's not nearly as much political support for letting fires burn as there is for putting fires out." Read more. 

Can 'Moneyball' Fix How The West Manages Wildfire?
"This is the latest use of cutting-edge wildfire risk assessment, an effort within the U.S. Forest Service to bring data-driven decision-making to wildland fire management...'Those extreme events are still going to happen But maybe if we capitalize more when things are moderate we can at least dampen their impact,' Thompson said." Read more.

Next Year's Federal Budget Could Slash Funding For Fire Science And Research
"The proposal would dramatically cut the budgets for the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Interior Department.  It would also entirely cut the budget for the Joint Fire Science Program, an interagency collaboration that funds hundreds of research projects focused on fire prevention and mitigation." Read more.

People Are Extending Fire Seasons More Than Climate Change Is
"A suppression-only policy merely aggravates the underlying causes. The American fire scene is the outcome of people and nature interacting; neither is in control. Fire is a driverless car, integrating everything around it, responding variously as different features loom larger." Read more.

Webinars, Videos, and Other Media

Upcoming Webinars
Archived Webinars
  • 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. 
  • 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 Fire Council Meetings
September 6, 2018 - The Alabama Prescribed Fire Council will hold their annual meeting in Clanton, AL. Certified Burn Manager Credit Hours and CFE's for registered foresters will be available. More details can be found here

September 19, 2018 - The Louisiana Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting will be held in Alexandria, LA. There is no cost, but registration is requested to ensure a proper number of seating. For more information, email Keith Hawkins or contact him at 337-463-7006. Those interested can also contact Keith to receive regular updates on prescribed fire.

September 24- 25, 2018 Kentucky Prescribed Fire Council  Joint Annual Meeting with the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists - Bats and Fire Workshop. The meeting and workshop will be held at the Cave City Convention Center (502 Mammoth Cave St.) in Cave City, KY. Registration information and additional details are available on the meeting website.  

September 26-27 , 2018 -  The South Carolina Prescribed Fire Council  Meeting will be held in Georgetown, SC. Further registration details and agenda coming soon on their meeting website

September 27, 2018 - The Georgia Prescribed Fire Council will hold their Annual Meeting in Tifton, GA. Registration is $35 or $10 with a student ID and is required by September 13. Registration and additional information can be accessed at the meeting website.  

Prescribed Burn Certification Courses
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. 
  • September 17, 2018 - Tuscaloosa, AL - Re-certification Workshop, $100 fee
  • September 18 - 21, 2018 - Tuscaloosa, AL - Certification Course, $150 fee
Kentucky: In conjunction with the annual meeting and workshop, the KPFC will also be hosting their first Certified Burn Boss Workshop on September 26-28.  Completion of this course and post course experience are the final steps to becoming a Burn Boss in Kentucky. Registration information and pre- requisite information for the course can be found on the home page of the KPFC website.  Please contact Training Committee Chair Ben Robinson  with questions.  

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. The next one will be  September 18-20, 2018  at the Hilton Garden Inn, Starkville, MS.

North Carolina: Registration will open soon for 2018-2019 North Carolina Certified Burner Training. Locations and dates will also be available soon.

Fire Festivals
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!

Training Events
September 15, 2018 - Butterflies, Bison and Burns at Tallgrass Prairie Preserve , Pawhuska, OK. 

September 25-27, 2018 - Longleaf Academy: Understory Diversity 201, Little Ocmulgee State Park, McRae, GA. 

Oct. 29 - Nov. 9, 2018 - Southern Blue Ridge Prescribed Fire Training Exchange, Pickens, SC. More details on other TREX programs across the country can be found here.

December 4-6, 2018 - Longleaf Academy: Longleaf 101, Georgetown, SC.  

Various Dates, 2019 - The National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center (PFTC) in Tallahassee, FL is accepting applications through October 15, 2018 for FY2019 sessions. 

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
October 1-3, 2018 - Great Plains Prescribed Fire Summit, Ardmore, OK. The second biennial summit will cover topics from prescribed fire basics to the latest fire science and will include a field tour. All practitioner levels are encouraged to attend. Visit the event site for online registration and additional information.

October 3-7, 2018 - Society of American Foresters National Convention, Portland, OR. The convention theme will explore the differences between policy and politics, and how science, management, and policy interact and integrate to inform and influence the conservation of forested landscapes. Sessions will consider the role of science in policy decisions such as wildland fire policy, the role of scientists and managers in the policy process, and how to better influence policy makers. Visit the conference website for more information. 

October 10, 2018 -  Fire and Forest Management at Bernheim Forest, Clermont, KY. 

October 15-22, 2018 - Fire Effects Monitoring and Technology Workshop, Santa Fe, NM. This workshop is for trainee and qualified Fire Effects Monitors, fire ecologists, and specialists who are using new technologies for fireline operations. More information can be found here. 

October 15-18, 2018 - Ecological Forestry Workshop, The Joseph W. Jones Ecological Center, Newton, GA. Registration is preferred b October 1 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. Register by September 21 here.

October 23-26, 2018 - The Longleaf Alliance, Alexandria, LA. 
The 22nd biennial Longleaf Alliance regiona 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. 

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. More information will be available soon, meanwhile questions can be directed to Jennifer Roberts.

November 1-2, 2018 - Game Bird Seminar, Tall Timbers, Tallahassee, FL. More information coming soon, meanwhile questions can be directed to Jennifer Roberts.

November 9-16, 2018 - International Conference on Forest Fire Research, Coimbra, Portugal. Registration is open through September 30 and can be found here.

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. Call for Presentations has been extended through September 10. Submission 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

November 18-22, 2019
Interna tional Fire Ecology and Management Congress, Tucson, AZ. More information  will be available soon.

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

All job postings are still open as of the Driptorch Digest send date, however application reviews may have begun. 
  • GIS Wildland Fire and Water Quality Support - The EPA has an immediate opening at the Research Triangle Park, NC facility for a support position on the wildland fire water quality project. Additional details and application information can be found here.
  • Assistant/Associate Professor - North Carolina State University is accepting applications for a tenure-track assistant or associate professor in wildland fire science and air quality. The position will be housed in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. Review of applications may begin as soon as July 20th, with applications continuing to be accepted as long as the position is posted 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. For full consideration, submit all materials here by September 1, 2018. 
  • Assistant or Associate Professor - Texas Tech University is accepting applications for a tenure-track faculty position in Fire Ecology. Submit materials here by the beginning of application reviews on August 1, 2018.
  • 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.
  • Online Job Boards: 

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

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

Department of Defense Natural Selections Newsletter (current edition)

Fire Learning Network Networker (current edition)

Forest Stewards Guild After Wildfire: News & Networking (current edition and subscription link)

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. 
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