Red Hills Fire Festival 2018 draws 950 attendees
Tall Timbers hosted the second Red Hills Fire Festival on January 27. The event was designed to attract individuals and families not already knowledgeable about prescribed fire by featuring live music, food, activities for all ages, and live fire demonstrations. Fire Festival is also an opportunity to showcase the many partner organizations working hard to study and apply prescribed fire in Georgia and Florida.
After a great start in 2017 with 650 guests, the 2018 Fire Festival grew to include 30 different partner organizations and 950 guests. A large rain event held off long enough for our all-star burn teams to do three separate prescribed fire demonstrations, right next to the main event grounds. Eric Staller, Tall Timbers Natural Resource Coordinator, led the burn teams with representation from many of the organizations participating in the festival.
Local graphics designer Eric Pate donated a wonderful poster design for the event this year, complete with the tagline of “conservation through partnerships.” Posters with all thirty participating organizations listed on the back were sold at the festival to help cover event costs.
Local band Two Foot Level provided a fantastic soundtrack for the day, playing from the porch of the historic Beadle House. Guests explored over twenty-five exhibits highlighting local ecology, fire, and live wildlife. Guided wagon rides carried festival goers out into the fire managed pine forest at Tall Timbers for a firsthand look at how prescribed fire improves wildlife habitat.
Neil Fleckenstein, Tall Timbers Planning Coordinator, led our tireless team of guides and drivers who successful ran 29 wagon tours with over 700 riders. Wagon tour guides estimated that about 70% of their guests reported that Fire Festival was their first visit to Tall Timbers—a good indicator that we are connecting with a new audience and spreading the word about the importance of prescribed for ecosystem health and reduced wildfire risk.
Fire Festival Album
Photos by Rose Rodriguez