April 2018


Wildland Fire In The Southeast


Restoring Resilient Landscapes | Creating Fire Adapted Communities | Responding to Wildfires



A publication by the Southeast Region Strategy Committee to highlight progress within the context of the Cohesive Strategy and demonstrations of success across the Southeast. Stories are always welcome and can be sent to gwood@southernforests.org.



In This Issue


  • 2nd National Cohesive Strategy Science Workshop
  • Cohesive Fire Strategy Success Story: North Carolina Fire in The Pines Festival
  • Cohesive Fire Strategy at The 7th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress
  • Wildfire Community Preparedness Day: May 5th
  • Predictive Services Releases Wildland Fire Outlook
  • Mike Davis Named 2017 Forest Fire Management Officer of The Year for Region 8
  • Mississippi Wildfire Public Service Announcement Video Wins Award
  • South Carolina Forestry Commission BMP and Fireline Rehab Work
  • State Fire Resources Respond to Oklahoma and Texas
  • Collaborative Efforts on Prescribed Fire
  • Upcoming Events




2nd Annual National Cohesive Fire Strategy Science Workshop: Lessons for The Field


The International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF) held their 2nd National Cohesive Strategy Science Workshop in Reno, NV March 27-29. The workshop focus was to promote science and research that has been conducted that aided in implementation of the Cohesive Strategy. The session featured Micro-talks, general session presentations and panel discussions to give attendees information in a variety of formats. Many of the sessions were interactive to generate thought provoking discussion and additional information sharing for the audience. Oklahoma State Forester and NASF President George Geissler provided a perspective of the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC) which he is a member of. South Carolina Forestry Commission Fire Chief Darryl Jones provided information on State Prescribed Fire Councils, and during a panel presentation a perspective of how SC has implemented projects under the three National Goals of Cohesive Strategy. Kristen Newman and Mylea Lovell with the Texas A&M Forest Service conducted an interactive presentation on “Increasing Prescribed Fire on Private Lands”. David Godwin from Southern Fire Exchange had a vendor booth and display showcasing work being done in the Southeast.




Cohesive Fire Strategy Success Story: North Carolina Fire in The Pines Festival


On October 14, 2017, approximately 5,000 community members attended the much-anticipated and kid-friendly Fire in the Pines festival at Halyburton Park in Wilmington, North Carolina. The festival teaches the next generation that fire can benefit the landscape if used appropriately, thus conveying the message of “good fire.“ The environmental education festival, in its eighth year, supports the Cohesive Fire Strategy national goal of maintaining and promoting resilient landscapes by educating the next generation on the importance of prescribed fire use and managing fire-dependent ecosystems. Read the entire story here.




Cohesive Fire Strategy at The 7th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress


The 7th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress, held in Orlando, Florida on November 28-December 2, 2017, provided several opportunities to directly support the Cohesive Fire Strategy. A round table discussion, or "Fire Circle," was facilitated by Craig Goodell and Katie Lighthall (Western Cohesive Fire Strategy region) on ways to implement the Cohesive Fire Strategy at all stakeholder levels through Learning Laboratories. A special session and Fire Circle on the Cooperative Extension's role in fire education provided examples of ways the Strategy is being implemented at the community level. The conference provided numerous fire science and management presentations, all of which are valuable to the fire community. Most presentations were accompanied by a presentation summary, or Research Highlight, and some session presentations were recorded.


Presentations of note include The Joint Fire Science Program- 19 Years of Research Supporting Sound Decisions, presented by Nate Benson of the National Park Service, and Wave of Fire: The Historical Signal of New World Colonization and Settlement, presented by Michael Stambaugh of the University of Missouri.


The 8th International Fire Ecology and Management Congress will be held on November 18-22, 2018 in Tucson, Arizona. Click here for more information.





Wildfire Community Preparedness Day: May 5th


On Saturday May 5, 2018, communities across the nation will be participating in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) annual Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. Though the deadline to apply for the community grants has passed, promoting this event in your community helps build awareness. Thirty-two communities in 11 southeastern states received $500 awards this year to fund their wildfire preparedness day activities. Read more here.





Predictive Services Releases Wildland Fire Outlook


Predictive Services has released their latest projection of wildfire activity for the next few months. Many areas in the Southeast have received adequate rainfall to minimize wildfire occurrence except for Texas, Oklahoma, and Southern portions of Florida. Long term drought continues in the pan handles of OK and TX with significant fire activity having occurred there since early February. As conditions continue to dry out, FL and Southeast GA will need to monitor for worsening conditions. The normal Spring green-up has slowed with the fluctuation of temperatures we have experienced. Warmer conditions should prevail as we move further into April, but strong cold front passages could cause severe weather outbreaks, especially in Eastern portions of the Region. Projections are calling for Summer to be warmer and drier than normal. Visit the Southern Area Coordination Center for more information.





Mike Davis Named 2017 Forest Fire Management Officer of The Year for Region 8


Mike Davis, Forest Fire Management Officer for the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests in Georgia, was presented the 2017 National Forest Fire Management Officer (FMO) of the Year Award by US Forest Service Acting Deputy Regional Forester John Crockett and Fire and Aviation Director Shardul Raval.




Mississippi Wildfire PSA Video Wins Award


The Mississippi Forestry Commission recently won an award for their public service announcement (PSA), Stop Wildfires at the Starting Line. The US Forest Service-funded video won a silver ADDY from American Advertising Federation, which is the industry's largest competition attracting over 40,000 entries annually. The PSA features Olympic Gold Medalist and the World's Fastest Woman, Tori Bowie, and is intended to remind the public of the destructive potential of wildfires and how quickly they spread. The video supported The MS Forestry Commission's Wildfire Prevention Month Campaign. Read more here.





South Carolina Forestry Commission BMP and Fireline Rehab Work


During the fall 2016 Pinnacle Mountain Fire, the South Carolina Forestry Commission (SCFC) was already working to identify and plan for rehab needs before the smoke had chance to clear. The 10,623-acre fire was the largest mountain fire in SC’s history and burned in SC and North Carolina, as well as at Table Rock State Park and the Greenville Watershed. SCFC’s Best Management Practices (BMP) Staff evaluated specific sites and determined that a collaborative effort would be needed to complete the work ahead. The work performed in collaboration with multiple agencies is an example of the intent of the Cohesive Strategy and the importance of partnerships. To learn more about this outstanding collaboration of agencies to achieve a common goal, the SCFC has published a guide detailing the project. Read the entire guide here.



State Fire Resources Respond to Texas and Oklahoma


Due to prolonged drought and widespread wildfire occurrence in Oklahoma and Texas, resources from other Southeastern States have mobilized to assist in suppression efforts. In early February, George Geissler - Oklahoma State Forester, and Chair of the South-Central Forest Fire Compact activated the Compact to provide resources for Oklahoma and Texas. State resources consisting of Dozers, Engines and fire personnel have mobilized to Oklahoma under the Fire Compact from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. A Florida Forest Service, and Federal Incident Management Teams mobilized to provide assistance. Texas has received personnel and resources through the Federal ordering system (ROSS) from Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. A 23-person Incident Management Team from Georgia mobilized to assist with managing larger fires. Having the Fire Compacts available provides additional resources to States when they experience high numbers of fires and are limited on resources. Learn more about the Forest Fire Compacts here.



Collaborative Efforts on Prescribed Fires


The concept of “All Lands, All Hands” has been utilized several times this prescribed burning season with several burns being accomplished through collaborative efforts. In South Carolina, the Andrew Pickens District of the Sumter National Forest conducted a 1,350-acre burn. This burn was conducted as part of a project funded through a Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership which is managed by the Georgia Chapter for TNC (The Nature Conservancy). The South Carolina TNC Chapter helped to coordinate the burn with other partners, and a TNC Burn Crew from Asheville, NC assisted with the burn. The USFS assisted with a 337 acre burn on Oconee State Park in South Carolina. When a helicopter was not available to assist on the burn, TNC Burn Crews from North Carolina and South Carolina helped which allowed the burn to be accomplished. A burn was conducted by the South Carolina Forestry Commission on Keowee-Toxaway State Park which was the first time two State Parks in South Carolina had prescribed burns being done on the same day. The Southern Blue Ridge Fire Learning Network (SBR-FLN) and TNC Chapters contributed greatly to these achievements. Typically, about 3,000 acres of prescribed burning is conducted annually in the South Carolina mountains. Through the efforts of the SBR-FLN and others, 2,000 acres were burned within one week. This is a great example of Cohesive Strategy at work, where multiple agencies, with multiple funding sources, work collaboratively to burn on partners lands. (Contributed by Kristen Austin – TNC)



Upcoming Events


April 18, 2018, 1:00 PM Eastern



April 20, 2018, 9:30 AM - Noon Central

Workshop | Coastal Prairie Burn Workshop | Gray Ranch (near Vinton, LA)



April 23, 2018, 3:00 PM Eastern



April 24, 2018, 10:00 AM Eastern





May 10, 2018

Webinar | Air Quality 101

Go to the Southern Fire Exchange website for more info



May 15-17, 2018



May 21-24, 2018

Conference | The Fire Continuum Conference | Missoula, MT



June 12, 2018

Field Day | Summer Field Day | Stillwater, OK

**RSVP by June 6th to John Weir**




This publication is made possible through a grant from the USDA Forest Service.