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.
Below are some examples of Agendas that have been used for past workshops.
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.
Below are some examples of fliers that have been used for past workshops.
October 2018 Indiana
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
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.
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.
- Prescribed Burn Handbook, Oklahoma State University Extension
- Introduction to Prescribed Fire in Southern Ecosystems, US Forest Service
- Effective Firebreaks for Safe Use of Prescribed Fire, Got Nature?, Purdue Extension-FNR
- Prescribed fire: 6 things to consider before you ignite, Got Nature?
- Renovating native warm-season grass stands for wildlife: A Land Manager’s Guide, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
- Firebreaks for Prescribed Burning, Oklahoma State University Extension & others
- Prescribed Burning: Spotfires and Escapes, Oklahoma State University Extension & others
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:
- On-line Basic Prescribed Fire Training, Extension, USDA and NIFA (this is available for both rangelands and forested areas)
- eFIRE, North Carolina State Extension
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.
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 email@example.com with questions, or if you have any resources that you would like to be added.