Fire training grows to help meet regional and national needs

Many of our planet’s diverse habitats and species have co-evolved with fire over millennia, with humans picking up the torch thousands of years ago to begin living with fire. While you may often see news stories that focus on out-of-control wildfires threatening homes and forests, there are many positive fire stories to be found here at Tall Timbers.

Part of the solution for humans to coexist with fire once again is to build a diverse and nimble fire workforce that not only fights fire, but lights fire as well. Tall Timbers is deeply engaged in collaborative wildland fire training to address this urgent need.

“There is a need for a highly skilled and agile organization like Tall Timbers to jump in and help with these training needs. We see this in our state partnerships from Florida up through the Mid-Atlantic and New England, in our national work with agencies like the Department of Defense and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and as the host site for the National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center,” explains Matt Snider, Fire Training Specialist at Tall Timbers.

Tall Timbers currently employs three full time and nine part time employees whose primary focus is wildland fire training. Working in both classroom and field settings, these staff members help advance the knowledge and skills of professional wildland fire managers and private landowners across the country.

Sharpening tools

Through our association with the University of Florida and The Natural Areas Training Academy, our staff delivers National Wildfire Coordinating Group sanctioned curriculum to federal, state, and local fire managers who work to enhance the safety and efficiency of both prescribed fire operations and wildland fire response.

A partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission allows us to deliver risk management workshops and hands-on, field-based prescribed fire training to private landowners and members of prescribed burn associations, which encourages the safe, efficient use of ecologically sound fire as a land management tool.

Live fire demonstration

We work closely with professional fire managers in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states to identify critical fire training needs and develop solutions, such as new academies and the development of demonstration sites, where students, fire managers, and private landowners can learn and practice prescribed fire skills in an environment that allows for hands-on learning in a low risk environment.

Tall Timbers is now also the host site for the National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center (PFTC), a center of prescribed fire excellence that is a cooperative venture between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U. S. Forest Service, and Tall Timbers.

“PFTC has hosted students from across the country and globe to come to the Southeastern U.S. to learn about and experience prescribed fire. There have been attendees from all 50 states, and 18 foreign countries— from Australia to Trinidad.” Says Greg Seamon, Tall Timbers PFTC Training Specialist.

In collaboration with the Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tall Timbers helps to provide classroom and field-based skills training to civilian employees on DOD lands. DOD lands are hotspots of biodiversity and our cadre of instructors is helping to keep safe, reliable fire working for the benefit of these natural communities held in the public trust.

The training staff at Tall Timbers are committed, experienced fire professionals who believe that accomplishments in wildland fire management education and mentoring are realized when fire managers, private landowners, and training professionals come together to ensure that the right fire, is applied at the right time, on the right landscape to achieve outcomes that benefit the public and natural communities.

Cutting line


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