Vol 6 | No 2 | August 2013
Prescribed Fire Training Center offers first June training session
By Greg Seamon, Fire Training Specialist
The Prescribed Fire Training Center (PFTC) held its inaugural June session this year. In order to train participants in the ecological use of growing season fire, the Center developed this session in conjunction with a number of its cooperators, including Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy. The members of this initial module spent a day at Tall Timbers touring the Stoddard Fire Plots, visiting the Wade Tract, and discussing the use of fire for land management to maintain healthy quail populations, sustain wetland ecotones, and protect the red-cockaded woodpecker. In addition, the module visited Apalachicola National Forest to look at fuels and learn about a multi-discipline fire program. Following their orientation to growing season fire in the southeast, the module participated in burns at the University of Florida’s Ordway-Swisher Biological Station, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, and Ocala National Forest.
During their time with PFTC, the students worked on task books to show proficiency in different fireline positions leading to certification in the position. Two of the students worked on the burn boss task book, while three worked on firing boss. Additionally one of the students worked on fire effects monitor and incident commander type 4.
PFTC held five 20-day sessions with 98 students and 17 field coordinators attending this year. During those five sessions, the modules conducted 173 prescribed burns, totaling 70,279 acres. Burns were accomplished for nine different agencies and organizations, totaling 34 different sites. Trainees worked on ten different task books, completing 470 assignments, and 41 trainees were recommended back to their home units for certification in the position they worked on while attending PFTC. Participants came from 20 different states representing 12 different agencies (federal, state, and local).In addition we had 2 Canadians, 1 Spaniard, and 2 students from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan).
Attendees burned across the southeastern US, primarily in Florida and Georgia. They were given a good indoctrination into the southeastern fire culture and took home powerful messages about the ability to use fire for multiple objectives.