The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will present a webinar, “Fighting Fire with Fire: Rx Fire Toolbox to Combat Identified Social Barriers,” at noon on May 6.
Urs Kreuter, Ph.D., a Texas A&M AgriLife Research rangeland scientist and professor in the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology at Texas A&M University, Bryan-College Station, is the featured expert speaker.
The cost is $35. Advance registration at https://bit.ly/3cZIkzW is required for all participants. To immediately receive instructions to access the webinar, pay via credit card when registering. Instructions to access the event will be emailed once payment is complete.
Series co-coordinator Morgan Treadwell, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension range specialist, San Angelo, said the webinar was an amazing opportunity to learn from the results of a recently concluded project funded by the Joint Fire Science Program that identified the social barriers and limitations for prescribed fire in the Southern Great Plains.
“This is very powerful information because it showcases perceptions of prescribed fire from landowners, county judges and commissioners, state and federal agencies, and prescribed burn associations,” she said. “This is such a cool opportunity because it is new research being delivered to fire practitioners and stakeholders who need this information.”
Fighting fire with fire
Treadwell said prescribed fire is an important topic for stakeholders because elevated fuel loads combined with projected hotter and drier climatic conditions will likely lead to more frequent erratic wildfires in the western U.S. Changing social perceptions about using fire as a tool to prevent destructive wildfires will be critical to future fire management.
“The recognition that changing climate and decades of fuel accumulation are increasing the risks of wildfire has led to calls for fire management reform, including the widespread use of prescribed fire to reduce fuel loads,” she said.
Treadwell added that this shift in fire management emphasis is failing to be widely adopted due to social and regulatory barriers to using fire. To ensure fire management reform is broadly adopted on private land in the western states, the attitudes of stakeholders towards the use of prescribed fire as a wildfire reduction tool need to be clearly understood.
“Dr. Kreuter will be sharing his expertise and understanding of this topic and addressing what needs to happen moving forward in prescribed fire best management practices, education and innovation,” Treadwell said.