No. 64                                                                                          February 2022
Thank You, Laurel!
We would like to thank Laurel Kays for all of her contributions to SERPPAS, the Southern Fire Exchange, and the entire Southern prescribed fire community over the past several years while working at NC State Extension Forestry. Laurel also curated and formatted a majority of the content for this monthly Driptorch Digest newsletter, which was a huge undertaking!

Today is Laurel's last day at NC State University, and we wish her all the best in her new endeavors!
USFS Launches Wildfire Crisis Strategy

The USDA Forest Service is establishing a strategy for working with partners to dramatically increase fuels and forest health treatments by up to four times current treatment levels in the West. While focused on wildfire in the West, the strategy has the potential to impact prescribed fire in the South and across the nation. For more information, you may find the following sites useful:

Texas Prescribed Fire Escape

The Rolling Pines Fire started January 18, 2022 in Bastrop State Park in Texas. The cause of the fire is under investigation, however Texas Parks and Wildlife have stated it was likely caused by embers from an escaped controlled burn. While the situation is still evolving, the coverage below provides an overview of the current situation.

A new video from the Longleaf Alliance provides an overview of how to get started using prescribed fire on private lands, and is especially helpful for landowners in Georgia.
Ember Alliance Document Review and Course Signup

The Ember Alliance is seeking feedback on two new documents:

Those with questions can contact Jennifer Mueller or Tyler Gilbert.

The Ember Alliance is also collaborating with Tall Timbers Research Station, and The University of Idaho to offer online versions of RX-301/341 Prescribed Fire Implementation and Plan Preparation and RX-410 Smoke Management in the Spring of 2022:

Federal Affairs

Several developments at the federal level may impact prescribed fire operations in the South:

Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest Plan Released

The National Forests in North Carolina has released the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests’ revised forest plan and the revision process has entered the final phase, a 60-day objection period for parties who submitted substantive comments during development of the plan. The plan was developed following years-long engagement with forest stakeholders.
Survey Assesses Fire Department Readiness for Wildland Fires

USFS Southern Research Station 2021 Highlights

The Southern Research Station has released highlights from 2021 research, including studies related to water and wildfire in southern Appalachians, how fire may improve tree resilience, and how wildfires during droughts can still benefit forests.

A new video from Project Southwest (referring to Southwest Virginia) showcases the difference between "Good" and "Bad" fire. It features Bryan Kerns, leader of the Pulaski Club at Dobyns-Bennett High School.
Longleaf for All: Barriers and Recommendations

To address the concerns and issues faced by historically excluded, minority, and under resourced
landowners, the Longleaf for All working group and a committee of diverse partners developed
recommendations for ALRI’s Longleaf Partnership Council
. The document is intended to identify and address the specific challenges that face underrepresented landowners such as access to resources, legal counsel, financial markets, and outreach.
Prescribed Fire News Roundup
EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning & Standards (OAQPS) is soliciting applications through February 25 from eligible entities to conduct ambient air monitoring of pollutants of greatest concern in communities with environmental and health outcome disparities stemming from pollution and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Fire Protection Association is accepting proposals through February 28 for $500 awards to support Wildfire Community Preparedness Day projects.

The Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund request for proposals (RFP) for 2022 has been released, with proposals due Tuesday, March 15, 2022 by 11:59 PM ET. An applicant webinar will be held Thursday, February 3 at 2 PM ET.
Job Opportunities
Wildland Fire Science Technician, Tall Timbers Research Station, expected start date March 1

Sandhills Stewardship and Fire Manager Position, The Nature Conservancy North Carolina

Fire Management Specialist (Prescribed Fire Focus), Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission via Suffolk County Water Authority

Various Positions, The Ember Alliance

Upcoming & On-Demand Webinars (Times Eastern)
Prescribed Fire Council Meetings
There are no Southern region PFC meeting scheduled at this time.
Prescribed Burner Certification Courses
February 2-4 - Prescribed Burn School, Hammond, LA
April 28-30 - Prescribed Burn School, Florien, LA
Conferences, Workshops, Festivals, and Other Events
February 1-2 - Michigan Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting & Burning Issues Workshop, Virtual
February 2 - Longleaf Foundations Workshop, Niceville, FL
February 6-12 - Cultural Management Council/Yurok TREX, Weitchpec, CA
February14 - April 15 - Community Wildfire Mitigation Best Practices Training, Virtual
March 9 - North Carolina Longleaf Pine Summit, Virtual
April 23 - Party for the Pine Fire Festival, Southern Pines, NC

May 2-5 - National Tribal Forum on Air Quality, Tulsa, OK
May 27 - Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, Everywhere
May 23-27 - Fire & Climate Impacts, Issues, and Futures Conference, Pasadena CA &
Melbourne, Australia
May 24-27 - Southern Blue Ridge Fire Learning Network Workshop, Dillard, GA
October 4-7 - Fire Ecology Across Boundaries, Florence, Italy
October 25-28 - Biennial Longleaf Conference, Wilmington, NC
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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