Expanding the use of prescribed fire in fire dependent ecosystems will be critical for reducing both wildfire risks and building healthy resilient forests. The southern region of the US leads the nation in prescribed fire applications partly as a result of close collaborations among federal, state, and private land managers, a vision promoted by the Forest Service's Shared Stewardship Across Landscapes initiative announced by Secretary Purdue. The ability to expand the use of prescribed fire both regionally and nationwide will require a focus on delivering science that provides the best information available to empower fire managers. The success of prescribed fire applications in the south is partly the result of it being recognized as the most ecologically appropriate and cost-effective tool for managing loblolly, shortleaf, slash and longleaf pine stands in the region. Recently however, some forest health specialists suggested that prescribed burning after drought will stress mature pines, increasing their susceptibility to beetle attack.
This webinar is being presented by Joseph O'Brien, Research Ecologist and Fire Team Leader for the Center for Forest Disturbance Science, USFS Southern Research Station.