No. 66                                                                                          April 2022
February Proclaimed as Prescribed Fire Awareness Month in NC
Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed February as Prescribed Fire Awareness Month in North Carolina.

Today, prescribed fire is an established management tool, benefiting the forest and fire-dependent ecosystems by mimicking the frequent, low intensity fires that once occurred on the landscape.

Where Fire is a Treatment, GIS Helps Prescribe It
"Public safety remains a primary concern whenever fire is on the landscape. Now, some of the newest geospatial technologies are helping federal agencies to precisely and safely use fire to restore and manage the lands that need it to thrive."

"'Folks don’t just drop a match and set a prescribed fire. There are months and months of pre-planning that go into it. And there has always been a map involved, says Justin Shedd, a research associate at the Center for Geospatial Analytics at North Carolina State University."
Hurricane and Tropical Storm Impacts on Prescribed Fire and Wildfire Management Practices

"Hurricanes and tropical storms can significantly alter forested and non-forested areas, creating unique hazards and considerations for wildland firefighters and prescribed burners. Before responding to wildfires and planning prescribed fires, fire managers should anticipate how changes caused by tropical storms and hurricanes will affect fire behavior, smoke, hazards to personnel, and access to the fire."

Does Prescribed Fire Threaten Quail Nests?

This article states "Overall, the researchers found that if timed correctly, prescribed fire poses a low threat to northern bobwhite quail nests. In fact, according to the study, 67% of nests successfully hatched during the three-year observation period. Only two of the 48 nests were burned by prescribed fire."
Prescribed fire science: Why it's needed now more than ever

"The USDA Forest Service recently announced a 10-year strategy to confront the wildfire crisis and improve forest resilience. Increasing fuels treatments will be paramount to create healthier forests and reduce wildfire risk to communities. The Forest Service’s Southern Research Station routinely researches the science of prescribed fire and why it’s needed now more than ever."
NWTF Prescribed Fire Position Statement

"Unfortunately, many blame poor reproduction and observed declines in hunter harvest on the use of prescribed fire, particularly burns conducted during the growing season, which coincides with the spring nesting season for wild turkeys. While the loss of wild turkey nests to prescribed fire is a legitimate concern, a majority of wild turkey research shows very few turkey nests are lost directly because of springtime burns. Research suggests that hens prefer nesting in areas that have been burned within the past two years and not in high numbers in unburned areas because the habitat is too thick. For the few nests that are lost due to habitat management activity, predation, or even weather-related events, it’s important to note that hens may re-nest up to three times."
Federal Affairs

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

Wildland Fire Study Showcases Prescribed Fire Program, Captures Data

"Watching prescribed burns is all in a day out of the office for Joe O’Brien, a project leader with the U.S. Forest Service. He and his team came to Fort Stewart to observe how the installation prescribe burns its forests so data can be collected to help other installations and wildlands apply fire properly by creating next generation fire models—virtual burns that show prescribed fire managers how fire acts in different scenarios.

The data collection is the final phase of a multi-year Department of Defense project to study prescribed burns on Fort Stewart."

Researches develop new modeling tools for prescribed fire

"For predicting fire behavior, the Southern Research Station (SRS) team developed and is testing QUIC-Fire. The real-time modeling tool uses 3D maps of fuels and forest structure and accounts for how chemistry, material science, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer interact to influence fire behavior — yet it can run on a laptop computer. “It’s definitely a revolution in modeling and a quantum leap in fire management,” says O’Brien."
The graphic above shows the "QUIC-Fire simulation of a prescribed burn showing vegetation (green) and rising plumes (white shades). Graphic by Scott Goodrick, USFS."
USDA to Invest $1 Billion in Climate Smart Commodities, Expanding Markets, Strengthening Rural America, Funding will be provided in two funding pools, and applicants must submit their applications via by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on: April 8, 2022, for the first funding pool (proposals from $5 million to $100 million), and May 27, 2022, for the second funding pool (proposals from $250,000 to $4,999,999).

EPA Pollution Prevention Grants includes forestry practices. "In keeping with the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, EPA is encouraging P2 because implementing these approaches can result in reductions in toxic pollutants, the use of water, energy and other raw materials, while also lowering business costs. P2 grants are awarded to states, state entities (colleges and universities recognized as instrumentalities of the state), the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the U.S., and federally recognized tribes and intertribal consortia."
Job Opportunities
Assistant Fire Management Officer, USDA, Wiggins MS.

Forestry Technician, USFS, Multiple Locations

Habitat Specialist, Pheasant Forever Quail Forever, Albany Georgia
Prescribed Fire Council Meetings

North Carolina Prescribed Fire Council Annual Meeting
(Details Coming Soon)

Prescribed Burner Certification Courses
Conferences, Workshops, Festivals, and Other Events
March 28-April 8 - Women-in-Fire Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (WTREX), Wakefield, VA
April 23 - Party for the Pine Fire Festival, Southern Pines, NC
May 2-5 - National Tribal Forum on Air Quality, Tulsa, OK
May 7 - Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, Everywhere
May 23-27 - Fire & Climate Impacts, Issues, and Futures Conference, Pasadena, CA &
Melbourne, Australia
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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