Tall Timbers Back to Mexico

Tall Timbers returned to Mexico this summer. Following last year’s training in Campeche, Fire Training Specialist Greg Seamon was invited back to conduct Phase II of prescribed fire training in Guadalajara for twenty-six participants representing CONAFOR (National Forestry Commission of Mexico), CONANP (National Commission for Natural Protected Areas), UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), and ProNatura (Mexico’s largest environmental organization). Greg joined Mark Ploski, Operations Specialist for the Prescribed Fire Training Center (USFS) and Danny Cedeno, Assistant Fire Management Officer on the Carson National Forest (USFS) and a number of employees from the USFS International Program presenting talks on ignitions, objective setting, post-burn responsibilities, burn plan writing and monitoring, as well as a tactical decision exercise focused on setting objectives, ignition planning and holding.

Two days were spent in the field on the side of an extinct volcano outside Tequila, Mexico. The first had the attendees broken into three groups and each given a burn unit to walk through in preparation for writing a burn plan. After each group wrote a plan, Greg, Mark and Danny chose the plan to be implemented, which occurred on the second field day. During the burn Greg worked with a group to take pre-burn and post-burn photos as well as weather and fire behavior observations during the burn. Danny worked with an ignition crew of ten students and Mark worked with the burn boss and the holding resources. Though the burn was small, 3.5 hectares (8.4 acres), all participants concurred during the after action review that they had experienced great learning opportunities.

The final activity was another after action review to discuss the entire workshop. All attendees were asked what they would like to have in Phase III. There were a number of subjects brought forth with some of the areas that received the most attention including smoke management, reviewing lessons learned, more fire behavior and monitoring in the field, and burn planning in different ecosystems. There is desire by all parties that a third phase will take place and hopefully Tall Timbers will be helping again.

Greg Seamon teaching dot firing (Ana Nafarrate photo)

Group burn planning (Ana Nafarrate photo)

Greg Seamon and group discussing firing during a tactical decision exercise (Rafael Flores photo)

Mark Ploski discusses the plan with the Burn Boss. (Greg Seamon photo)

Pre-burn briefing. (Greg Seamon photo)

The burn from a drone’s perspective (Gladys Hernandez photo)

Greg Seamon discussing fire behavior monitoring (Claudia Novelo Alpache photo)


Fire behavior monitoring (Greg Seamon photo)

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