Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association to Host Fire Suppression Training School in Woodward, OKThu, 25 Apr 2019 15:31:29 CDT
Redlands Community College, Oklahoma State University, USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub, Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association and others to host “Fire suppression through prescribed fire” training school May 11 at Woodward, Okla.; event will focus on the use of prescribed fire to reduce wildfire danger.
Record-breaking wildfires have plagued the Southern Plains for the past three years. During this time period, unusually wet summers combined with unseasonably mild winters have resulted in increased vegetative growth, creating the conditions for devastating wildfires. In an effort to help farmers, ranchers and rural communities deal with these conditions, Redlands Community College, Oklahoma State University, the USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub, the Noble Research Institute, the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association, The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, the Forestry Division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service have joined forces to host a wildfire fuel suppression training school on May 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Woodward Fire Station at 2400 Williams Ave. in Woodward, Okla. This event, according to John Weir, associate extension prescribed fire specialist at Oklahoma State University, is designed to help landowners, local fire departments and community leaders consider prescribed fire as a tool to help reduce wildfire danger.
“For three years in a row, we have seen an increase in the severity of our fire season,” Weir said. “We need to be thinking about strategies now to help reduce this fuel load and protect our farmsteads and rural communities from the danger of wildfire. There are many ways to do this, but one of the most effective strategies is to use prescribed fire on the land.”
According to Weir, by implementing prescribed fire as a tool to control fuel load, individuals and communities can reduce the danger of out-of-control wildfires later on. By doing targeted “black line” burns around communities and structures when conditions permit, burn associations and fire departments can work together to provide additional protection to homes and businesses. As part of the training school, the Woodward County Prescribed Fire Association will be burning “black lines” south of the city.
Russell Stevens, strategic consultation manager and wildlife and range consultant at the Noble Research Institute, said that this demonstration of burning a fire break near a town such as Woodward is a great way to show how prescribed fire can help reduce future wildfire danger.
“Burning a fire break around a town is a great strategy to help protect those communities from wildfire later on,” Hart said. “Our hope is that by conducting this training school we will spur additional partnerships between burn associations and local volunteer fire departments in using prescribed fire as a tool to fight wildfire.”
Dr. David Brown, director of the USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub, noted how this event is part Hub’s mission to help agriculture producers and rural communities deal with extreme weather events.
“Recent wildfires have impacted a multitude of production systems in our Southern Plains region. This training school is an example of putting tools and strategies in the hands of land managers to help deal with the negative impacts of extreme weather and climate events.”
The training school will start at 8:30 a.m. on May 11 at the Woodward Fire Station located at 2400 Williams Ave. in Woodward, Okla. and will be free to the public with a meal provided. Anyone attending is requested to RSVP by May 4 in order to determine the headcount for the meal. For more information or to RSVP for the meeting, contact Clay Pope at 405-699-2087 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source - Redlands Community College
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