No. 79                                                                                       May 2023
The Driptorch Digest header including an image of two drip torches with smoke from a low-intensity fire in the background. "News for the southern prescribed fire community"
The Nc State Extension logo
The Southeast regional partnership for planning and sustainability logo
The Southeast regional partnership for planning and sustainability logo
FAC's Preparedness Guide for Wildfire Prep Day May 6
Hundreds of people watched a prescribed fire demonstration at the Flatwoods Fire and Nature Festival, January 28, 2023
A new blog post by Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) contains some great information and resources for homeowners that want to observe the upcoming Wildfire Prep Day on May 6th by taking action around their homes. The blog provides many options for preparedness projects, and is organized according to the amount of time the homeowner wants to invest.
    Tippin' Torch: Tips for the Season
    A graphic of a drip torch
    Natural fires in the southeast usually occur in the spring and summer when thunderstorms are most prevalent. For many of the ecosystems in the region, it is important to apply prescribed fire with this same seasonal timing. These "growing season" burns can be more effective at controlling competing woody plants, promoting the growth of native grasses, creating wildlife habitat, and preparing the forest floor for seeds.

    In longleaf pine ecosystems, growing season burns require a thoughtful approach. At this time of year, longleaf pines develop white growth buds at the tips of their branches and stems, often known as "candles." The risk of damage to these candles makes the longleaf more vulnerable to fire during the growing season. This is particularly true for young trees whose candles are still within reach of surface fire flames.

    Check out this great video from The Longleaf Alliance on burning young longleaf. Here are a few tips from the video to consider:
    • Avoid burning before seedlings have entered the grass stage
    • Burn in conditions of light fuels, cool temps (<80°), light winds (<5 mph), and high RH (>25%)
    • Wait until candles are hardened and covered in new green needles
    Prescribed Fire News Roundup
    Highlighting College Student Fire Programs
    Student wildland fire crews at several universities in the south represent a unique model for providing experience and training to students, as well as increasing regional fire management capacity.
    • A recent video story by FOX54 News Huntsville highlights Alabama A&M's FireDawgs program which also provides a pipeline for increasing diversity in forestry.
    • This article highlights a program at the University of West Georgia in which students support prescribed burning as part of their fire ecology class. One of the long-term goals of that program is to develop a unique model of a Prescribed Burn Association that would integrate college students and regional landowners.
    Our Education and Training page on the Southeast Prescribed Fire Update lists online fire courses available through colleges and universities.
    EPA Air Quality Awareness Week 2023: Working Together for Clean Air
    May 1 - 5, 2023 is Air Quality Awareness Week! EPA and its partners are using the theme, "Working Together for Clean Air," to share resources that increase people's knowledge of air quality and encourage them incorporate that knowledge into their daily lives. AQAW kicks off on May 1 with a focus on the topic of Wildfires and Smoke, and a webinar on smoke, air quality, and human health at 12:00pm EST.
      Rapid Lesson Sharing: UXO Close Call Near Deer Stand
      Prescribed fire is a common tool for the management of game habitat in the south. A recent Rapid Lesson Sharing report from the Wildfire Lessons Learned Center describes a close call while burning in a hunting area in which a bullet "cooked off" near a firefighter. The shared lessons recommend lighting around deer stands and then moving away until the fire in that area is out cold.
        Insurance Barriers to Prescribed Fire on Private Lands
        Prescribed fire liability and insurance is an important issue and one we are paying close attention to. Several media outlets recently highlighted the role of insurance accessibility as a barrier to the use of prescribed fire for reducing wildfire risk, especially on private lands. As we continue to participate in this conversation, we invite you to please share with us any of your personal experience with prescribed fire insurance issues or opportunities.
          Other Fire Highlights
          Collaborative Research Burns at Fort Stewart
          The Southern Fire Exchange produced a second video that follows up on a video about Fort Stewart's prescribed fire program that we shared in the March Driptorch Digest. This video focuses on the Integrated Research Management Team (IRMT) which helps to plan and implement prescribed burns that serve both land management and fire research objectives.
            Request for Participation in Costs & Trends Forestry Survey
            The Forest Landowners Foundation and Auburn University are asking for anyone owning forestland in southern states to participate in the 2022 Costs and Trends of Southern Forestry Practices Survey. The survey has been conducted for almost 70 years to understand the costs and trends of forest management, including prescribed fire, and is important in influencing policy decisions that affect private forest landowners. The survey takes about 45 minutes to complete. For any questions, contact Adam Maggard, Alabama Cooperative Extension Specialist,
              Free Fire Workshop for Natural Resource Outreach Professionals
              NC State Extension, National Extension Wildland Fire Initiative, Southern Fire Exchange, and the Sandhills PBA are hosting an in-person workshop for Cooperative Extension and other outreach professionals in the natural resources. The workshop will include interactive activities and sessions in the field that expose participants to many different tools and strategies used in fire science communication and education. The workshop will take place June 7-9, in and around Raleigh, NC. Registration deadline is May 26; the primary hotel room block is being held until May 6.
                Webinar: Analysis of RX Fire Networks in Oklahoma and North Carolina
                The South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center published a recording of a recent webinar by Dr. Aaron Russell on his analysis of prescribed fire networks in Oklahoma and North Carolina. Analyzing the structures of social networks can tell us about things that can affect fire management outcomes like collective action, capacity, equity, and resource flows.
                  Funding Resources
                  • EPA is requesting applications for the assessment, prevention, control, or abatement of wildfire smoke hazards and related activities that target public buildings and/or buildings that serve the public, but privately owned or operated.
                  • Application Deadline: May 9, 2023
                  The National Forest Foundation logoi
                  The National Forest Foundation logoi
                  • Available to nonprofits, universities, and federally-recognized Native American tribes
                  • Must benefit U.S. National Forests and Grasslands
                  • 1:1 nonfederal cash match
                  • Round 2 Application Deadline: May 18, 2023
                  • Grants for mechanical fuel reduction projects within 32 high-priority counties, conducted by hired contractor of the landowner's choosing.
                  • Reimbursement of costs up to $750/acre for hand-cut fuel breaks or $2000/acre for mulched fuel breaks, up to $10,000 total.
                  • Application Deadline: May 15, 2023
                  The National Science Foundation logo.
                  The National Science Foundation logo.
                  • Calling for planning proposals focused on catalyzing innovative and inclusive wildland fire science through collaboration among diverse stakeholders and rights holders.
                  • Budget requests must not exceed $100,000 per year (including indirect costs) for a total of $200,000, with a duration of up to 24 months.
                  • Proposal Deadline: May 31, 2023
                  Job Opportunities
                  • Wilmington, NC
                  • The Nature Conservancy
                  • Posted: Apr. 17
                  Click here for a useful resource on fire career paths.
                  Upcoming Events
                  Certified Burner Courses
                  22 - 24
                  Hybrid - NC
                  24 - 25
                  Calhoun, GA
                  Fire Training Courses and Workshops
                  Newland, NC
                  Camp Shelby, MS
                  May 15 - June 2
                  Hybrid - FL
                  23 - 25
                  Black Mountain, NC
                  Raleigh, NC
                  Multiple Dates
                  April - June
                  Multiple Locations
                  Conferences, Webinars, and Other Events
                  16 - 18
                  Tyler, TX
                  10 - 13
                  St. Louis, MO
                  4 - 8
                  Monterey, CA
                  The Driptorch Digest is distributed by NC State University as a project of the Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability (SERPPAS) Prescribed Fire Working Group.

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