GameKeepers Emag

Gamekeepers Winter 2015

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22 we failed to become established," said Melvin. "We chose 2001 to re-start our efforts and by 2007 we were nearly state-wide after targeting recruitment efforts. It took us some time, but we are now seeing increased interest on the subject of prescribed fire." Daryl Jones is the Forest Protection Chief with the S.C. Forestry Commission and he shared some stats from the 2014 burning season. "We had to deal with the lowest number of wildfires in 20 years, and that was related to all the wet weather," said Jones. "About 70-percent of all burning was done on private land, and much was done by those educated in our Certified Prescribed Fire Manager (CPFM) course." Completing a fire manager course can be a way to demonstrate to others that you are making a com- mitment to burning. Randy Tate has been working as a conservation profes- sional for 28 years and presently works on the Fort Stewart / Altamaha Longleaf Restoration Project in Georgia. He is a federally certified RxB2 Burn Boss and his presentation asked the question, "Why Burn?" His answers included reduction of available fuels, a cost-effective way to manage vegetation and there is even evidence that it can control tick populations. His talk also includes that prescribed fire is good for deal- ing with a number of different situations, and that control- ling the prescription of fire is essential to getting the job done right. Grass fuels burn hot and fast and release smoke, but are not long-lived. Slash pile burning can last for days, creating a smoke hazard at night due to inversion. Ladder fuels in stands that have remained unburned for long peri- ods can lead to scorching, torching and mortality. The planning for any prescribed fire takes place well ahead of the event, and can be a key to success. Obtain copies of your burn unit mapping in order to aid communi- cation during any burn. He recommends Google Earth Pro, Prescribed Burning Communities make using Fire Simple continued © Jeff Dennis Look for a "Prescribed Fire Council" or some other organization in your region for aid in beginning. Not only will they provide knowledge, they also have gear from tractors to hand-tools to help you accomplish your burn.

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