No. 81                                                                                       July 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
Happy Independence Day!
As you celebrate the holiday, don't forget to keep safety in mind - each year, thousands of people end up hospitalized with grill, fire pit, or firework related injuries nationwide. Leave fireworks to the professionals, and keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of water nearby to extinguish your fire pit or for any small accidental fires!
Your Insights are Requested!
Are you interested in developing a new MOU for prescribed burning but don't know where to start? Or, have you been involved in developing a prescribed fire MOU in the past and are willing to answer questions about your participation? If so, please let us know! Researchers at the University of Florida are leading a study to help provide recommendations for creating prescribed fire MOUs in the future. Please contact Tyler Carney at with questions or interest in participating in the study.
Tippin' Torch: Tips for the Season
A graphic of a drip torch
Much of the US, including areas of the Southeast, have been under hazy skies and poor air quality in recent weeks as large wildfires burn across Canada. The EPA provided an overview of wildfires and smoke, outlining the negative health effects and what you can do to mitigate them. Check out additional resources in their Smoke-Ready Toolbox for Wildfires.

Key take-aways:
  • The main health concerns associated with wildfire smoke are related to airborne particles less than 2.5 micrometers in size, which is why you hear so much about "PM 2.5".
  • The Air Quality Index (AQI) is the best way to judge the air quality in your area each day. AQI is color coded to let you know how healthy or unhealthy it is. Green is the only AQI color that poses little or no risk for everyone.
  • Use the AirNow Fire and Smoke Map to see AQI, fire and smoke locations, smoke forecasts, and ways to protect yourself from the smoke.

How to protect yourself from smoke:
  • Avoid prolonged time outside and physical activity when the AQI is elevated. This is especially true for sensitive groups like children, older adults, and people with certain medical conditions.
  • Close the windows on your house and make sure it is well-sealed.
  • Run the fan on your HVAC system or use a standalone air purifier. You can even make your own with just a box fan and an air filter!
Prescribed Fire News Roundup
North Carolina: Gross Negligence Standard for Prescribed Burning
The North Carolina General Assembly passed the North Carolina Farm Act of 2023 which included an amendment to the state's Prescribed Burning Act to establish a standard of gross negligence for determining liability. Under this new standard, landowners and burners that comply with the North Carolina Prescribed Burning Act will have greater protection from liability for damages and injuries resulting from their burns. Importantly, this goes beyond the usual coverage of smoke impacts to also include impacts from fire.
    DOI and USDA On Current State of Activities to Reduce Wildfire Risk
    The Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture recently issued a joint memo to the leaders of their respective fire management agencies to clarify the ongoing national-level efforts to reduce wildfire risk. The memo emphasizes the Departments' investments in the wildland fire workforce and reaffirms the Departments' commitment to the recently updated National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy.
      USDA Increases Funding for Working Lands for Wildlife
      In 25 central and eastern U.S. states, an additional $14 million in new EQIP funding will be dedicated to conservation of bobwhite quail and associated species in the grasslands and savannas of the central and eastern U.S. Additionally, Inflation Reduction Act funding will also build outcomes for northern bobwhite recovery as over 3.5 million acres will help mitigate greenhouse gases.

      Specifically, USDA will update three existing WLFW frameworks in the Sagebrush Biome, Great Plains Grasslands, and Northern Bobwhite, Grasslands and Savannas to newly integrate FSA’s Conservation Reserve Program. USDA will also work with partners on the ground to develop 2 new land-based frameworks for the eastern US to be released in 2024-25:
      • Eastern Deciduous Forest: A strategy to achieve forest health and habitat restoration that benefits declining wildlife dependent on young forests.
      • Southeastern Pine Ecosystems: A strategy to establish and maintain native pines with cultural, ecological and economic value. 
        Other Fire Highlights
        Fire and Longleaf Pine Highlighted in Popular Science
        An article in Popular Science is sharing with a wide audience, the story of the Longleaf Pine ecosystem and the use of fire to manage it! It highlights the work of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama but illustrates the importance of managing fire in its natural role at large.
          [From the Forest Podcast] Diversity Explodes with Another Boring Burn
          An interview with Virginia McDaniel in which she describes the fire ecology of oak woodlands and the prescribed fire program in the Ouachita National Forest.
            NWCG Week of Remembrance: June 30 - July 6
            NWCG's 6 Minutes for Safety Subcommittee has organized a week of remembrance to honor fallen wildland firefighters and to reflect on the lessons we've learned from tragedy fires. Each day includes a review and discussion guide for a different tragedy fire so that firefighters can take time to learn together.
                Funding Resources
                • Most funds are available to cover the cost of trees only. Requests must include a minimum of 5,000 trees. See the FAQs for more eligibility info.
                • This is a reimbursement/rebate program. The landowner is responsible for all the work, including securing trees, and will be reimbursed after the project is completed.
                • Application Deadline: July 1, 2023
                The National Science Foundation logo.
                The National Science Foundation logo.
                • $80 million from Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and matching funds from the Defense Department’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program will enhance outdoor access and protect at-risk species near military bases.
                • Available to State Lead Agencies.
                • Award amount: $250,000 - $5,000,000
                • Application Deadline: August 21, 2023
                Job Opportunities
                • Roanoke, VA
                • US Forest Service
                • Deadline: June 5
                • Perdido, AL
                • The Nature Conservancy
                • Deadline: July 5
                • Traveling Locations
                • The Nature Conservancy
                • Deadline: July 7
                • Albany, GA
                • Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever
                • Deadline: July 7
                • Austin, TX
                • Travis County
                • Deadline: July 7
                • Saint Marys, GA
                • National Park Service
                • Deadline: July 7
                • Tallahassee, FL
                • National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center
                • Deadline: July 9
                • Van Buren, MO
                • National Park Service
                • Deadline: July 12
                • Gainesville, FL
                • Alachua Conservation Trust
                • Deadline: August 4
                • Tampa, FL
                • Hillsborough County
                • Open until filled
                • Tampa, FL
                • Hillsborough County
                • Open until filled
                • Tampa, FL
                • Hillsborough County
                • Open until filled
                • Southern Pines, NC
                • The Nature Conservancy
                • Posted: June 5
                • Durham or Raleigh, NC
                • Conservation Corps North Carolina
                Click here for a useful resource on fire career paths.
                Upcoming Events
                Fire Training Courses and Workshops
                17 - 30
                Morganton, NC
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                29 - 31
                Madison, WI
                September 26
                October 5
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                6 - 8
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                3 - 4
                Newton, GA
                17 - 19
                Moncks Corner, SC
                October 30
                November 10

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                Conferences, Webinars, and Other Events
                10 - 13
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                6 - 7
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                20 - 21
                Wilmington, NC
                Lake City, FL
                Kissimmee, FL
                6 - 10
                Santa Fe, NM
                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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