No. 53
February 2021
A Newsletter for the Southern Prescribed Fire Community
February is Black History Month
Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, is an opportunity to recognize the contribution that Black people have made and continue to make to our prescribed fire community. This includes recognition of the barriers that have been overcome and those that still remain both in wildland fire and broader society. The events and resources below may be useful in educating yourself and others about the progress African Americans have made in our community, as well as how much work remains necessary.

Websites and Publications


Smoke Management Guidebook for Prescribed Burning in the Southern Region
A new smoke management guidebook has been released through a collaboration between the EPA, NC State University, Southern Fire Exchange, Southern Regional Extension Forestry, and the University of Georgia. The goal of the guidebook is to help southeastern U.S. landowners understand smoke management for prescribed burning and various techniques that can be used to help manage the smoke that is created by prescribed fire.
Tall Timbers and the Florida Forest Service have partnered to develop one of Florida’s newest digital campaigns, The campaign intends to expand public awareness and support for prescribed fire through digital ads and organic partner posts encouraging people to "let neighbors know" about prescribed fire and its benefits.

In addition to the public website, the campaign includes a partner toolkit page with access to a calendar of suggested social media posts and videos, best practices for responding to comments, and instructions for sharing data to help evaluate the project. While the content was designed with Florida in mind, several of the videos are appropriate for use outside the state. For more information or to access the partner toolkit, please email Brian Wiebler.
NASA has created a webpage to spatially demonstrate how the pandemic and other factors impacted prescribed burning in the South.
Fire and Birds in the Appalachians
Partners of the Central Appalachians Fire Learning Network have published a paper examining the effects of landscape level-fire and subsequent vegetation changes on a variety of bird species. Highlights include:

  • Fire can be an effective management tool in eastern hardwood forests of North America
  • Indicator species choice should be specific to prescribed fire management objectives
Costs and Trends of Southern Forestry Practices Survey
Since 1950 the Costs and Trends of Southern Forestry Practices survey has provided valuable information to help forest landowners make informed decisions on their property. The questionnaire is used to better understand current costs and document long-term trends, including prescribed burning. Forest landowners are encouraged to take the survey.
The recordings from the September 2020 Virtual Georgia Prescribed Fire Council Meeting are now available on the Southern Fire Exchange YouTube page. These recordings join those from the October Florida Statewide PFC meeting and the June North Georgia PFC meeting. SFE also recently added two recordings of private landowner prescribed fire workshops held last year at Tall Timbers Research Station to their YouTube channel.
NWCG Resources
The January 2021 newsletter from the NWCG Mental Health Subcommittee addresses challenges related to burnout. The Training Delivery Committee has also released an FAQ page related to virtual training.
So You Want an As-Needed Fire Crew?
The Nature Conservancy's Adam Warwick has created a document outlining the innovative model of the Southern Blue Ridge Fire Crew. The publication includes information on how the crew functions, example of and reasons for success, and cost.
AFE Fire Congress Survey
The 9th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress is scheduled to take place November 30 to December 4, 2021 both virtually and in-person near Destin, Florida.

Given the uncertainty due to COVID-19, the conference organizers are conducting a survey to guide planning and decisions in the upcoming months.
2021 Louisiana Burn Contractor List
The 2021 Louisiana Prescribed Burning Contractor List is now available.
University of Florida fire ecologist Dr. Rae Crandall appeared on the CBS show Mission Unstoppable to discuss the importance of fire.
Winter 2021 Longleaf Leader Released
The Longleaf Alliance has released the latest issue of their quarterly magazine. It includes a variety of stories, including continued coverage of the 13th Biennial Longleaf Conference, the importance of ecological and human diversity, and the virtual Fire in the Pines Fire Festival.
American Chestnut Online Course
The Forest Service has released a new online course about basic biology and silvics of the American chestnut. It is free and available to all, with continuing education credits available for SAF members.
Prescribed Fire News Roundup
Funding Opportunities
COCO AIM Grant Program RFP
The COCO Action, Implementation and Mitigation (AIM) grant opportunity is available for a wide variety of capacity building activities. Those interested must submit concept papers by 5:00 PM MT February 11. Those invited to advance to the final application will be notified the week of February 26. Apply here.

RSG! Program Community Chipping Grant 
The Ready, Set, Go! Program Community Chipping Grant provides awards to assist local fire departments in engaging their community in fuels reduction efforts while educating and encouraging the community to share the responsibility of wildland fire risk reduction in their own neighborhood. The funding opportunity is for RSG fire and emergency response agencies to put towards implementing community chipping projects in their jurisdiction to support wildland fire mitigation efforts through staffing costs, contractual services, or rental costs towards roadside chipping projects. RSG members can apply for up to $25,000 in funding and must complete their community fuels reduction projects no later than August 1, 2022.The deadline for applications is February 19, 2021 at 5pm Eastern. Apply here.

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Grant
Financial support from State Farm will enable the National Fire Protection Association to provide 150 applicants from across the country with $500 awards to complete a wildfire risk reduction project on Saturday, May 1. Project applications can be submitted through February 26, 2021. Apply here.

IAWF Scholarships
The International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF) will award two graduate-level scholarships, typically valued at $3,000 USD to Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Ph.D. students studying wildland fire or wildland fire-related topics. Student submitted essays are evaluated by an international panel of fire science experts and one award recipient is chosen for the Masters level and one for the Doctoral level. Apply here by March 19.

Association for Fire Ecology Funding Opportunities
The Association for Fire Ecology (AFE) has two ongoing funding opportunities:

  • Wayne Harrison Memorial Scholarship - Students may apply for up to $2,500, with funding available annually. Applications are due each year by March 31, with awards announced by May 31.
  • Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) TREE Grants - Designed to help graduate students travel to present at conferences and workshops related to fire science and management. Applications are due 60 days before the conference or workshop.
Job Postings
All jobs are open as of the Driptorch Digest send date, however application reviews may have begun.

Montana Conservation Interns - Montana Conservation Corps, Applications due February 14

Land Stewardship Section Scientist - South Florida Water Management District, Apply as soon as possible

Job Boards
Upcoming Events & Webinars
Prescribed Fire Council Meetings

  • March 31 - 2021 North Florida Prescribed Fire Council Meeting, Virtual
  • June 3 - 2021 North Georgia Prescribed Fire Council Meeting, Virtual
  • August 18-19 - 2021 North Carolina Prescribed Fire Council Meeting, Morganton, NC

Prescribed Burner Certification Courses

Webinars (All Times Eastern)

Conferences, Workshops, Festivals, and Other Events

Prescribed Fire Resources
Do you want to learn more about prescribed fire? We've compiled an extensive list of resources that can help you explore the world of prescribed fire. On our resources page you can explore fire-related publications, videos, podcasts and webinars. You can access these resources on our web page, and if there's something we should add please reach out and let us know!
Contact us to share your prescribed fire information, stories, or events!

Jennifer Fawcett
NC State Extension Forestry
Extension Associate
SERPPAS Prescribed Fire Working Group Coordinator

Laurel Kays
NC State Extension Forestry
Extension Assistant

Additional content and resources can also be found by visiting our website and by following us on:

Facebook at Southeast Rx Fire and
Twitter @SE_RxFire