No. 76                                                                                       February 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
It's Fire Festival Season!
Hundreds of people watched a prescribed fire demonstration at the Flatwoods Fire and Nature Festival, January 28, 2023
The Sarasota County Fire Festival and the Flatwoods Fire and Nature Festival both took place in Florida on January 28. Fire Festivals can be an excellent tool for engaging with the general public, specifically families with children. They usually provide a very familiar festival experience that includes food trucks, games, and live music. Fire Festivals often include firefighting apparatus and equipment, live prescribed burn demonstrations, and, of course, Burner Bob and Smoky Bear! Visit the Southeast Prescribed Fire Update Fire Festivals page for information on current festivals in the region and resources for anyone interested in starting their own event. The Savannah River Fire Festival will be happening in March, and the Party for the Pine is coming up in April, and stay tuned for more info about other festivals in the area!
Tippin' Torch: Tips for the Season
A graphic of a drip torch
Wildfire season in the southeast is right around the corner, and not far behind for other regions. This doesn't mean prescribed burning can't happen, but it does mean that burners should pay extra attention to wildfire potential. Here are a few online resources for gauging current conditions.

On the first of each month, NIFC's Predictive Services provides a national significant wildland fire potential outlook for the next four months. The Southern Area Coordination Center provides more detail for the region in its daily outlook including weather forecasts and current fuel moistures. Wildfire potential is predicted to be above normal in several areas February to May, particularly in Southern Georgia and Northern Florida.

The Fire Weather Intelligence Portal by the State Climate Office of North Carolina allows to you to look at past, current, and forecasted weather conditions in a spatial format. There are many pieces of information to choose from including lightning strike density, drought levels, and wind conditions.

The Southeast FireMap is still in development but aims to be an authoritative source for spatial information of current fire activity in the region. The goal of the project is to help fire managers work with partners to coordinate their work around priority geographic areas.

Prescribed Fire News Roundup
February is Now Prescribed Fire Awareness Month in North Carolina!
On January 31, 2023, the Governor of North Carolina proclaimed February as Prescribed Fire Awareness month. The proclamation is an important acknowledgement of fire as a vital tool in the management of many of the ecosystems across the state.
EPA Proposes Changes to PM2.5 Standards
The EPA has proposed some changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, including a lower standard for PM2.5. These changes could have substantial impacts on the use of prescribed fire, so stay tuned. There is a 60-day public comment period open until March 6, 2023.
2021 Prescribed Fire Use Report Released
The National Association of State Foresters and the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils released the 2021 National Prescribed Fire Use Report. 2021 was the second highest year in terms of acres of prescribed burning, the majority of which were in the southeast. The report lists the main impediments to prescribed burning as identified by fire practitioners which revealed many familiar themes including those related to capacity, public perception, and liability.
Fire University Podcast: Fire Outreach Programs and Networks
Laurel Kays, Fire Learning Network Manager, recently appeared on the Fire University podcast to talk about outreach programs in fire science. Laurel is familiar to many folks in the fire world due to her experience and success in fire outreach over the years.

Inside the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab
A short documentary-style video from Wired provides a tour of some of the fire science research being conducted at the Fire Lab at USFS's Rocky Mountain Research Station.
Funding Resources
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund
  • 2023 Request for Proposals in support of projects that restore, enhance, and maintain longleaf pine to improve wildlife habitat.
  • Applicants are also encouraged to prioritize projects that:
    1. Provide co-benefits related to carbon sequestration and improving water quality
    2. Incorporate outreach, engagement, and collaboration with historically underserved communities
  • Limited funding also available to support bottomland hardwood restoration and enhancement activities.
  • Proposal Deadline: February 9, 2023
  • Provides financial assistance to eligible fire suppression organizations for critical training and equipment.
  • Requires 15% cost share with non-federal funds
  • Application Deadline: February 10, 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
  • 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
The National Science Foundation logo.
The Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation & Development Council Logo.
  • 50% reimbursement (up to $2000) for North Carolina residents within an eight-county region to hire out a contractor or rent equipment to reduce their home’s risk of ignition from wildfire.
  • Preference given to homes or communities within a moderate-to-high wildfire risk area. Check out this recent blog entry that explains the cost-share process.
  • Reimbursements available until funds depleted
Job Opportunities
  • Luray, VA
  • National Park Service
  • Application Deadline: Feb. 8
  • Location Negotiable
  • National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center
  • Application Deadline: Feb. 8
  • Raleigh, NC
  • NC Division of Parks and Recreation
  • Application Deadline: Feb. 10
  • Southern Pines, NC
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Posted: Feb. 3
  • Wilmington, NC
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Posted: Jan. 26
Upcoming Events
Fire Festivals
Guyton, GA
Southern Pines, NC
Prescribed Fire Training Opportunities
Ellenton, FL
  • Book Online
Clarkesville, GA
  • Register By: Feb. 17
Williamsburg, SC
  • RSVP By: Feb. 11
Baxley, GA
  • Register By: Feb. 17
Waynesboro, GA
  • Register By: Mar. 3
March 20 - April 14
Baxley, GA
  • Register By: Apr. 2
April 24 - May 5
Bend, OR
  • Sign up for more info
25 - 28
Haines City, FL
  • Apply By: Mar. 12
1 - 12
Banff, Canada
  • Apply By: Feb. 15
Conferences, Workshops, Webinars, and Other Events
6 - 9
Virtual + Elizabethtown, NC
28 - 30
Reno, NV
16 - 18
Tyler, TX
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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