NRCS Prescribed Fire Course Hosted
By Dr. Ron Masters, Director of Research
On March 15-19, 2010, the Tall Timbers Research and Land Management staff hosted the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Prescribed Fire in Southern Pine Forests Course. Some 29 participants from Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, New Jersey, West Virginia, Virginia and Louisiana received intensive training and experience in the application of prescribed fire in southern pine forests. Participants were able to participate in 3 separate prescribed burns overseen by Mr. Eric Staller, Natural Resources Coordinator and assisted by Dr. Kevin Robertson, Mr. John Weir of Oklahoma State University and Dr. Ron Masters. Classroom instruction and field tour guidance was given by Dr. Ron Masters, Mr. Eric Staller, Mr. John Weir, Dr. Kevin Robertson, Mr. Jim Cox, Dr. Bill Palmer, Mr. Joe Noble, and Mr. Lane Green.
Students received instruction in Fire Equipment and Safety, Fire Types, Writing Prescriptions, Fire Behavior, Fuels, Fire Weather, Fire Behavior Modeling, Tools for Landowners and Fire Effects on Soils, Vegetation, Forestry, and Wildlife including Mammals, Non-game Birds, and Northern Bobwhite. Students also received instruction on Smoke Management from Ms. Judy Turner and on Liability and Fire at the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) from Mr. Todd Schroeder, both of the Florida Division of Forestry. NRCS national staff also provided instruction with Mr. Dennis Thompson, Washington, D.C. reviewing NRCS Prescribed Fire Policy and Dr. Susan O’Neil, Portland, Oregon, presenting on Air Quality and EPA regulations.
Course participants were required to write prescribed burning plans and observed measurement of fire behavior in the field. They also were required to pass a written exam at the completion to receive Certificates of Completion. We are proud that all participants passed with flying colors. Participants gave course instructors high marks for professionalism, knowledge of the field, in quality instruction and for out standing field trips to the Stoddard Fire Plots and the Wade Tract. High marks were also given for Course Materials, meals and refreshments, all coordinated by Ms. Kaye Gainey.
Tall Timbers staff enjoyed this dynamic group and their interest in learning about the art and science of prescribed fire. We look forward to hosting similar courses in the future. And a good time was had by all!!
NRCS Course members learning about the practical use of hand tools and drip torches under the watchful eye of Eric Staller, Natural Resources Coordinator, the recent Prescribed Fire Course at Tall Timbers.
NRCS Course members and Tall Timbers Staff on the Wade Tract field trip during the recent Prescribed Fire Course at Tall Timbers.