The Influence of Fort Indiantown Gap on the Expansion and

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
Why We Burn at FTIG
•Hazard Mitigation- Fuel Reduction
•Military Training Needs
•Threatened &
Endangered Species
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)
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
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
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
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
Governor’s Signing Ceremony
PA Prescribed Fire Practices Act
Benefits of a Council
• Better exchange of information
• Unified voice on Rx Fire issues
• Resource sharing through Cooperative
• Sponsor, Coordinate, and Facilitate Training
• Public Awareness and Outreach
• Sharing ideas
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
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
Aerial Ignition
•What is Aerial Ignition?
•Why use Aerial Ignition?
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.
• 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
• Placed on floor of helicopter; PLDO
• Spheres contain potassium
• Injected with ethylene glycol
• Vehicle based torch –
extends and speeds up
firing operations
• 80 gal. gelled fuel – 16
gal diesel & 64 gal
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)
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
• 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
2010 Rx Fire Acreages by Agency
•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
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
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
In Summary
• FTIG Forestry involved in the formation of PA Rx Fire
• Rx Fire Council assisted in finding the needs of agencies
within the state that wanted to use fire as a management
• 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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