BROOKINGS, S.D. – SDSU Extension encourages landowners to consider prescribed fire as a land management tool. The South Dakota Grassland Coalition, in partnership with SDSU Extension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, will host several free Prescribed Fire Training sessions tailored to private landowners. The spring 2023 schedule will include five evening classroom opportunities and three field day events.
The four remaining evening classroom events are March 7 at Al’s Oasis in Chamberlain, March 14 at Valley View Golf Course in Sisseton, March 21 at Cloud 9 in Watertown, and March 23 at Jo Dean’s in Yankton. Check in and supper are from 5 to 5:30 p.m., and the classes are from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Meals and drinks are not provided, but attendees can order a meal if they choose. Registration for evening classroom sessions is requested but not required.
Classroom sessions will focus on basic training topics related to prescribed fire on private land: fire planning and design; goals, objectives, and safety; ecology and weather; communications; and United States Department of Agriculture/agency program rules.
There will also be combined classroom and field sessions in April and May where participants attend a classroom training in the morning, then participate in live fire events in the afternoon. Students will spend 8:30 a.m. to noon in the classroom, break for lunch, and participate in field exercises from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the first day. Lunch is not provided.
Field sessions will also include an optional second day, where students will plan and assist in a complete prescribed burn under the direction of instructors.
This year’s combined classroom and field sessions are scheduled for April 18-19 at Pasque Hill in Brandon, April 25-26 at SDSU Oak Lake Station in Astoria, and May 16-17 at SDSU Oak Lake Station. May 2-3 is the alternate date for the April 25-26 sessions in the case of inclement weather.
Field sessions will focus on fire equipment, firebreak preparation, weather and fuels, burn techniques, and live fire exercises. Landowners will work directly with experienced fire professionals throughout the day.
All individuals must participate in a classroom session before they can join a live fire field training session. Anyone who has attended a previous classroom session since 2013 can register for the field sessions without repeating the classroom training.
Field day participants will receive the schedule and instructions on appropriate attire prior to the event. Registration for field days is required.
To register, email Jan Rounds at Janice.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 605-882-5140. Registration for all sessions is free.
For more information on the use of fire or other tools for grassland management, visit the Agriculture page on the SDSU Extension website.