Welcome to the “Learn & Burn” Toolkit!

This page connects you with many resources to help organize a “Learn & Burn” event, and aims to be a central location for collecting and sharing information, examples, notes, and best practices that we have found to be useful in successful workshops.

“Learn & Burn” workshops are an excellent way to provide private landowners and others interested in learning how to prescribed burn with a hands-on opportunity to gain experience and knowledge.

These workshops can come in many forms, from a half day in the classroom and half day in the field combination, to a full day (or even multiple days) in the field. Ideally, the participants will learn about fire safety, smoke management, firing techniques and more, by learning while doing….i.e., with a driptorch in hand! These workshops can also serve as a good follow-up to the Certified Burn Manager courses that most Southern states offer, to allow participants to put their new knowledge from the course into action.

Below are some resources to help you to develop a “Learn & Burn” workshop for your area.

VIDEOS

FLIERS

Below are some examples of fliers that have been used for past workshops.

February 2018 Alabama

May 2018 South Carolina

April 2017 Louisiana

October 2018 Indiana

 

AGENDAS

Below are some examples of Agendas that have been used for past workshops.

July 2014 Alabama

April 2015 Virginia

April 2017 Louisiana

 

PRESENTATIONS

May 2018, Wakefield, Virginia: This website from the 2018 Virginia “Learn & Burn” workshop provides links to the presentations that were included in the morning portion of their workshop. Participants spent the afternoon burning with and learning from experienced mentors. This blog post provides an overview of the event.  Watch the above video to see the burn and to hear from some of the participants about what they gained from the workshop.

 

BEST PRACTICES

Best Practices for Field based Education Facilitating Effective Learning

Best Practices for Field-based Education Logistics and Safety Checklist

 

POSSIBLE PARTNERS

We asked past organizers who they would suggest to include as partners to host a “Learn & Burn” event. Of course, partners will also depend on your target audience. In no particular order, they suggested:

  • Prescribed Fire Council – to provide experienced burners, to invite their members to participate, possibly provide financial assistance to support the event
  • State Forestry agency – to provide land to be burned, experienced burners, provide PPE if needed
  • State Wildlife Agency – to provide land to be burned, experienced burners, provide PPE if needed
  • Local NRCS Agent – to share information on financial and technical assistance opportunities, invite landowners that have contracts requiring prescribed burns
  • Local Extension Agent – to assist with meeting facilitation, provide materials and resources, invite local landowners
  • Local NGOs (such as The Nature Conservancy, National Wild Turkey Federation, etc.) – to provide land to be burned, experienced burners, provide PPE if needed

 

LIABILITY WAIVER

This template liability waiver has been used for several events in the past. If your organization has a lawyer, you may want to have them review this document as well.

 

BUDGET & FUNDING

Depending on the format of the event, you will likely have at least a few costs. On average, an event for 30 people costs between $500-1,500. The major costs are typically for food and facility fees, but other costs could include porta johns, materials & supplies, personal protective equipment. Some of these costs can be offset by registration fees, donations, or grants.

An example of a budget could include:

  • Facility: $200
  • *Lunch: 30 people  x  $10/person = $300
  • *Coffee/Snacks/Water: 30 people x $5/person=$150
  • A/V equipment rental: $50
  • Materials & Supplies: $150
  • Van or bus rental (for transportation to a field site): $300
  • Porta johns: $200
  • TOTAL: $1,350

*Note that some grants, such as those from federal agencies, do not usually cover food. Either charging a registration fee or finding funding from NGOs or other groups to cover these costs will be needed.

Examples of groups & organizations that could provide funding and/or other support include:

  • Federal natural resource agencies
  • State natural resource agencies
  • Non-governmental organizations (National Wild Turkey Federation, Longleaf Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, etc.)
  • Cooperative Extension
  • Grants (National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (such as the Longleaf Stewardship Fund), Renewable Resources Extension Act, etc.)

 

RESOURCES

There are several resources that can be shared during the event. Below are a few examples, but you may know of others that are specific to your state or local area. If not, ask your state Prescribed Fire Council and your other program partners! In most cases, many of the partner agencies will have materials available.

You may also want to have your participants come into the event with some background knowledge. These free online trainings would be a good start:

 

EVALUATIONS

This evaluation form has been used for past workshops, and can be used as an example. It is suggested to provide the evaluation in a classroom setting at the end of the workshop. Evaluations provide an opportunity to learn from participants as to what they enjoyed most, or what could be improved in the future.

 

PHOTOS

2018 AL Growing Season Learn and Burn

2017 AL Growing Season Learn and Burn

2016 Florida Forest Stewardship Program Learn and Burn

2015 Florida Landowner Field Day (Included a burn and mechanical fuel treatment demo)

2014 MS Fire on the Forty Landowner Workshop

 

RELATED EVENTS

Southern Fire Exchange: For information on other upcoming workshops and field tours, visit this page from the Southern Fire Exchange.

Longleaf Alliance: To learn more about the Longleaf Alliance’s Fire & Longleaf 201 course (which, weather permitting, incorporates a live fire demonstration to give students the opportunity to observe and participate in a prescribed burn), visit this page.

 

Please contact jennifer_fawcett@ncsu.edu with questions, or if you have any resources that you would like to be added.