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The Influence of Fort Indiantown Gap on the Expansion and Evolution of Prescribed Fire in Pennsylvania Nick Hoffman, Dave McNaughton, Shannon Henry, Tim.

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Presentation on theme: "The Influence of Fort Indiantown Gap on the Expansion and Evolution of Prescribed Fire in Pennsylvania Nick Hoffman, Dave McNaughton, Shannon Henry, Tim."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Influence of Fort Indiantown Gap on the Expansion and Evolution of Prescribed Fire in Pennsylvania Nick Hoffman, Dave McNaughton, Shannon Henry, Tim Haydt, JD Lambrinos – PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

2 Why We Burn at FTIG Military Training Needs Ecosystem Management Threatened & Endangered Species Hazard Mitigation- Fuel Reduction

3 Critical Elements For Regal Fritillary (Speyeria idalia) #1 Native Warm Season Bunch Grasses (Little Bluestem & Broom-sedge) #2 Larval Host Plants – Violets, Primarily Viola sagittata #3 Adult Nectar Plants - Mainly Perennial Milkweeds (3 spp) and Biennial Native Thistles (3 spp)

4 Where the Influence Started 2005 Rx Fire Survey (PA TNC) – Determine fire use in PA Who & why How much and where – Assess interest in expanding fire use – Identify critical needs and issues – Evaluate need for increased communications

5 Forming the Council 2007 Organizational Meeting – PA fire users meet to discuss council – Guest speakers - expert in council formation – All in attendance unanimously voted to form council Form steering committee Elect interim officers Draft by-laws Elect officers per by-laws

6 Cooperators

7 Accomplishments of Rx Fire Council Hosted national conference 2008 Now holding annual membership meetings Sponsored first course in 2009 and have since been sponsoring trainings yearly including a 10 day Crew Boss Academy held at FTIG Created a Website to more easily access information about prescribed fire in the state


9 Impacts of the Council on PA Rx Fire Commented on the Writing of PA Prescribed Burning Practices Act Assisted with PA Prescribed Fire Standards Assistance with writing PA- state task books

10 Governor’s Signing Ceremony PA Prescribed Fire Practices Act

11 Benefits of a Council Better exchange of information Unified voice on Rx Fire issues Resource sharing through Cooperative Agreements Sponsor, Coordinate, and Facilitate Training Public Awareness and Outreach Sharing ideas

12 What This Means for FTIG Removes some of the liability issues for fire leaving project area Creates PA Fire Certifications (Based on NWCG) Allows experience within the state to fulfill certification requirements Allows cooperation between state agencies to staff larger burns and/or provide overhead Clearly defines the process of planning and reporting all Rx fire activity to DCNR BOF

13 Training in the South 4 FTIG personnel travel to FT Stewart, GA to learn how to properly implement fire over large acreage Over 11,000 acres burned in 4 days Trained in aerial and terra torch ignition

14 Aerial Ignition What is Aerial Ignition? Why use Aerial Ignition? Implementation

15 What is Aerial Ignition? Using a helicopter flying over a proposed burn area as the primary ignition source Helicopter has a Plastic Sphere Dispenser (PSD) machine installed Results in point source ignition across the burn area.

16 Implementation Acquire New Equipment – Terra Torch - $10,625 – PSD - $8,956 Implementation Costs – Gelling Agent - $309 per case – Spheres - $245 per thousand or $0.25 per sphere – $1500 Onsite Fee for Helicopter + $1500/hr Flight Time – Approximately $8.66/ acre above ground program

17 RED DRAGON PSD Placed on floor of helicopter; PLDO operates Spheres contain potassium permanganate. Injected with ethylene glycol (antifreeze)

18 TERRA TORCH Vehicle based torch – extends and speeds up firing operations 80 gal. gelled fuel – 16 gal diesel & 64 gal gasoline

19 New Positions Required – Division Leaders – PA Firing Boss Qualified – Aerial Ignition Specialist (AIS)- PA FIRB Qualified – PSD Operator (PLDO) – Terra Torch Operator (TTO) – Type 1 Burn Boss (RXB1)

20 IGNITION Ground Aerial

21 Why use Aerial Ignition? Burn areas with limited interior access Capitalize on PA’s shorter burn seasons Smoke management Mitigate fire behavior in heavy fuel loads Accomplish landscape level treatments Affordable option for larger units

22 LESSONS LEARNED Aerial Ignition can be done in PA Additional training required Organization must be ready for the requirements/challenges of Aerial Ignition Landscape level treatments are possible even with the shorter PA window Smaller units are possible, but larger units provide greatest cost benefit











33 Army Corps of Engineers -1 burn –1 acre Bureau of Forestry–12 burns –186 acres Fort Indiantown Gap –20 burns –1850 acres National Lands Trust –4 burns –30 acres National Park Service –3 burns 124 acres Pennsylvania Game Commission –10 burns –458 acres Private –1 burn –15 acres US Forest Service–4 burns –73 acres 2010 Rx Fire Acreages by Agency


35 What The Change Means For Other Agencies Use of outside agency overhead to lead burns Use of outside agency personnel on burns Training opportunities on other agency burns Use of outside equipment for resources

36 FTIG and Outside Agencies Numerous training opportunities offered for the advancement of personnel and task book signing Provide overhead on burns for PGC and DCNR FTIG Personnel have actually assisted in planning process of several burns for other agencies FTIG has paved the way for other agencies to implement landscape level burns FTIG has provided a working model for other agencies to copy

37 In Summary FTIG Forestry involved in the formation of PA Rx Fire Council Rx Fire Council assisted in finding the needs of agencies within the state that wanted to use fire as a management tool Rx Fire Council gave recommendations to lawmakers for the writing of Prescribed Fire Practices Act Prescribed Fire Practices Act paves way for FTIG to ramp up fire program April 2010 FTIG personnel pull off first aerially ignited prescribed fire in Pennsylvania FTIG has been the model and source of experience for many outside agency personnel

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