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
Collaborative RX Fire Leads to Cooperative Fire Suppression
Hundreds of people watched a prescribed fire demonstration at the Flatwoods Fire and Nature Festival, January 28, 2023
A blog post from the Southern Group of State Foresters tells a story that illustrates one our greatest strengths in the South: interagency cooperation. The relationships built through prescribed fire projects subsequently allowed partners to stay ahead of the curve while cooperating in the suppression of the Pinnacle Mountain Fire in 2016. One quote from the article reflects the sense of community unique to fire in our region: "North, east and west are directions – the South is a place."
    Tippin' Torch: Tips for the Season
    A graphic of a drip torch
    It wouldn't be the South without our characteristic humidity. As much as we might like to take shelter in the A/C during the summer, there's still plenty of work to be done outside. Humidity doesn't slow fires as readily as it does in other regions, and growing season burns are an important part of many southern ecosystems. With that extra humidity, comes higher heat index values, and higher risk of dehydration and heat-related illnesses. The National Weather Service has a great set of resources on heat safety.

    Here are some common signs of heat disorders:
    • Muscle cramps
    • Weakness or fatigue
    • Nausea
    • Headache
    • Dark urine
    • Mental confusion

    Here are some tips for dealing with the health effects of working in high heat and humidity:

    • Drink one quart of fluid per hour of work in the heat
    • Hydrate before and after working outside, not just during
    • Help your body maintain its electrolyte balance with proper nutrition and/or electrolyte supplements
    • Reduce your workload: take more breaks, work at a slower pace, carry less weight
    • Adjust your work schedule as you are able: work in the cooler parts of the day, work for shorter shifts
    Your Insights are Requested!
    Is your organization facing a fire-related challenge for which you would like to solicit ideas or feedback? Please let us know and the SERPPAS Prescribed Fire Working Group may be able to help.
    Prescribed Fire News Roundup
    Prescribed Fire for the Management of Ground Nesting Birds
    A story from Mississippi serves as a reminder of the beneficial effects of prescribed fire in the management of game bird populations like quail and turkey. On the Copiah Wildlife Management Area, prescribed burning has contributed to improvements in turkey harvests over the past several years. The article encourages private landowners to incorporate prescribed fire into their wildlife management plans.
    National Cohesive Strategy Addendum Release
    The Wildland Fire Leadership Council has released an update to the 2014 National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy to reorient to today's critical emphasis areas and key implementation challenges. The four key critical emphasis areas for the updated framework are:
    1. Climate change
    2. Workforce capacity, health and well-being
    3. Community resilience (preparation, response, and recovery)
    4. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice
    Five key implementation challenges were also identified that relate to the use of prescribed fire and managed wildfire, the application of science and technology, forest economics, and general awareness of the Cohesive Strategy. Read the Addendum here or check out the summary from the Southern Group of State Foresters below.
      Other Fire Highlights
      USFS WildfireSAFE App for Situational Awareness
      The USFS has developed an app to deliver information about fire weather and fire behavior in an easy-to-use format. While much of this data is available from other sources, the app is meant to provide a one-stop resource and to synthesize the data into values that make the most sense to people on the ground.
        EPA's WSMART Air Monitor Loan Program
        EPA is piloting a new program to provide supplemental air monitoring equipment to state, local, and tribal air organizations. The Wildfire Smoke Air Monitoring Response Technology (WSMART) is meant to help organizations manage the public health impacts of smoke from wildfires. The equipment is issued on a temporary loan basis and comes with technical support information.
          [People Places Planet Podcast] Groundtruth: Cultural Burns as Tools for Wildfire Prevention and Indigenous Healing
          "Indigenous people used prescribed burns in forests for thousands of years to manage land, reduce wildfire risk, and support cultural practices. Noa Ervin and Claire McLeod of Beveridge & Diamond interview Deniss Martinez, PhD Candidate at the University of California Davis, focusing on how colonial governments and land management agencies have suppressed these practices, and highlight the recent progress in restoring Indigenous fire management."
            Funding Resources
            • Grants available to non-profits for the training of military veterans in topics and skills related to careers in the food and agricultural sector.
            • Award amount: $100,000 - $250,000
            • Application Deadline: June 19, 2023
            The National Forest Foundation logoi
            The National Forest Foundation logoi
            • Provides $500 for individuals to attend the Florida Certified Prescribed Burn Manager Training Course. Targeted towards individuals who are engaged in some aspect of public outreach or education related to prescribed fire in Florida.
            • Application Deadline: June 30, 2023
            • $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
            The National Science Foundation logo.
            Job Opportunities
            • Remote
            • Colorado State University
            • Deadline: June 12
            • Roanoke, VA
            • US Forest Service
            • Opens: June 26
            Click here for a useful resource on fire career paths.
            Upcoming Events
            Fire Training Courses and Workshops
            19 - 24
            Multiple Dates
            April - June
            Multiple Locations
            6 - 8
            West End, NC
            September 26
            October 5
            Bronson, MN
            Conferences, Webinars, and Other Events
            Jasper, GA
            10 - 13
            6 - 7
            Aiken, SC
            20 - 21
            Wilmington, NC
            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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