Pile Burning Lessons Learned

This happens far too often - The pile looks great until you try to light - Notice the “black hole” in the right side of the pile.  This hollow area complicates the ignition process - with no fuels at the bottom of the pile, ignition and consumption is impacted. Credit: CUSP

Written by: Jonathan Bruno, Chief Operating Officer Having burned over 5,000 piles in the last few years on public and private property, the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) has learned a few key elements that can help you have successful and safe burns. Here are some of my lessons learned. 1) Planning for pile burning starts before the first tree is felled. Far too often the workers that are cutting and piling have never been around a pile burn project and are unfamiliar with what is needed to put a pile together for burning. The contractors or staff … Continue reading

The Untapped Secret Society of Cooperative Extension

Written By: Kate Lighthall, Coordinator, Western Region, National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy & Nick Goulette, Executive Director, The Watershed Center Over 100 participants packed the ballroom March 10-12 in Tucson, Arizona for the Cooperative Extension Educators Workshop. Extension Agents and Associates, leaders in the wildland fire community and community leaders came together to hear how Extension efforts can and are making a difference in the prevention and preparation for unwanted wildfires. The theme for the event was “Preparing for Wildfires: Moving from Crisis to Opportunity,” which provided the perfect platform for sharing information, science and on-the-ground experiences that have … Continue reading

When in Reno..

Do as the FAC Netters Do! It’s that time of year again, when the annual Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) conference occurs in Reno, Nevada. Sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the WUI conference is guaranteed to be a combination of timely practitioner information, catching up with colleagues, and a chance to meet new people. This year’s program includes a number of great sessions, many of which are focused on fire adapted communities (FAC). If you have the opportunity to attend this year’s conference, here is a cheat sheet of FAC sessions to note on your program agenda:  Wednesday, March … Continue reading

Considerations for Fostering Local FAC Collaboratives

The Results, Process, Relationship Triangle helps leaders consider multiple dimensions of their work. © Interaction Institute for Social Change.

Following our last webinar we surveyed Network participants about topics they’d like to learn more about. Among the many ideas provided was a request to learn more about network leadership and collaborative tools. Today I want to share a concept I’ve found useful in considering how to create a durable collaborative effort. Wendy Fulks and I were fortunate to attend a leadership training hosted by the Interaction Institute for Social Change last fall where we learned about “Facilitative Leadership.” The training was full of helpful ideas, and one of my favorite parts was an exercise that helped us think about … Continue reading

The Sauls Creek Prescribed Burn: A Community Success Story

Written by: Pam Wilson, Executive Director, FireWise of Southwest Colorado The idea of prescribed burning on public lands adjacent to homes may leave many residents quivering with fear; yet it seems more and more residents are recognizing the need to return fire to fire-dependent ecosystems, such as ponderosa pine forests. In southwest Colorado, these forests historically experienced low-intensity fires every 7-13 years, keeping small shrubs and ladder fuels to a minimum. However, drought conditions and the spate of larger wildfires in recent decades has made it challenging to allow natural fire on the ground. Here’s how the three C’s – … Continue reading

Forest Guild Completes First Controlled Burn on Private Land in La Cueva, New Mexico

Landowners igniting the first pile of the day in 8 degree temperatures. Photo Credit: Forest Guild

Written By: Eytan Krasilovsky, Southwest Region Director I am excited to report that two weeks ago the Forest Guild completed its first pile burn on private land in Santa Fe County. While we’ve convened two training exchanges on state trust lands, burning on private land with the homeowners participating is an entirely new experience. We burned fuels on 6.5 acres that had been thinned in the spring of 2014. Both the thinning and the burning were partially funded through The Nature Conservancy’s 2013 Scaling up to Promote Ecosystem Restoration Initiative. Landowners also contributed to the cost of thinning. Across the community, … Continue reading

Integration of Cohesive Strategy Goals a Reality in California’s Klamath Mountains

Written By: Kate Lighthall, Coordinator, Western Region; Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Western Klamath Restoration Partnership (WKRP)  and attend their field trip for the Somes Bar Integrated Fire Management and Capacity Development Project (see the recent blog post about the meeting). Like most collaborative projects, there are many stakeholders representing diverse interests who have come together to find shared values and goals for their landscape. Moving from agreement in principle to agreement in practice, however, is the true test of collaboration. “We’re going slow and starting small,” I heard from … Continue reading

Western Klamath Restoration Partnership Hits the Ground Running

Written By: Bill Tripp, Deputy Director of Eco-Cultural Revitalization, Karuk Tribe, Department of Natural Resources From the office to the field The Western Klamath Restoration Partnership (WKRP) in Northern California has been meeting for over a year to develop a common vision for the landscape surrounding our communities. Earlier this month we held a three-day field tour to get a ground-level perspective on our group’s vision for the Somes Bar Integrated Fire Management and Capacity Development Project. The Donahue Flat Neighborhood, one of four focal areas identified for treatment last fall, was the area we toured and discussed. Day one was … Continue reading