Promoting the vital role of controlled burning, a sometimes-misunderstood practice, is on the agenda for the next annual meeting of the Georgia Prescribed Fire Council.
The meeting is set for Thursday, Sept. 25, at the University of Georgia’s Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton. Topics include improving deer habitat with prescribed fire, resources for fire practitioners and ignition techniques, among others.
The Georgia Prescribed Fire Council, which began as a regional effort to unite prescribed fire practitioners in southwest Georgia, has served as a statewide platform for prescribed fire advocacy and public education since January 2007.
Prescribed fire is a safe way to apply a natural process, ensure ecosystem health and reduce the risk of wildfires. While critical for fire-dependent natural communities and many rare species, it is also one of the most effective, efficient and economical ways to manage Georgia’s forest lands and ecosystems.
Council Chair Clay Sisson said the annual meeting is an opportunity for prescribed fire professionals from around the state to learn, network and most importantly “stay current on what the issues are year to year.”
Those issues vary from air quality to wildfires. But Sisson, a Georgia-based wildlife biologist with Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy, said the Georgia council and others “have done a pretty good job” of promoting prescribed fire’s role in restoring fire-adapted habitats and lowering wildfire risks. Prescribed fires reduce the accumulation of brush that can fuel wildfires.
“I think public attitudes about prescribed fire have changed to be more favorable,” Sisson said.
Council partners range from the Georgia Forestry Commission and the state Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division to federal agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, conservation organizations like The Nature Conservancy, quail plantations and private landowners and managers.
The meeting is open to the public. Registration at the door is $25 per person. Students can register for $10 with their student identification.
Learn more about the meeting and the Georgia Prescribed Fire Council at www.garxfire.com/events.htm.
Article by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.