The Aldo Leopold Foundation is again partnering with The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to host a Prescribed Fire Training Exchange in Wisconsin. The 16-day Wisconsin Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (WI-TREX) is a professional and learning opportunity for fire practitioners to advance their knowledge of fire ecology, fire effects, fuel models, and conservation efforts as well as participate and practice with several prescribed burns. The training exchanges, part of the Fire Learning Network, are specifically designed to create opportunities for fire professionals from across the nation to gain and broaden their experience, as well as complete tasks in their Position Task Book and receive evaluations from qualified trainers.
In its second year, the training will take place April 9 through 25, 2018. Participants will be able to work on a range of skills and qualifications including Burn Boss (RXB2), Firing Boss (FIRB), Firefighter Type 1 (FFT1), and more. Serving on a burn team and in qualified and trainee firefighting positions, participants will have the opportunity to assist with scouting, briefing, igniting, holding, mop-up, and patrol on numerous controlled burns across the state. Traveling around the state to perform prescribed burns, participants will also hear from local partners, scientists, land managers, and fire practitioners about recently burned areas and the impact on native habitat.
Last year’s Wisconsin training exchange took place at the following locations:
- The Aldo Leopold Foundation, Baraboo
- Baxter’s Hollow and Hemlock Draw preserves, Baraboo and Sauk City
- Horicon Marsh (state and federal lands), Mayville-Waupun
- Leopold Wetland Management District, based in Portage; burn operations on several waterfowl production areas in 12 surrounding counties
- Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area, Barneveld
- Mukwonago River watershed, East Troy
- Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, Necedah
- Croix Wetland Management District, based in New Richmond; burn operations for several of 43 waterfowl production areas in eight counties
About 4.5 million acres of Wisconsin’s grasslands, wetlands and forests are considered fire-dependent, meaning the plants and animals that use the habitat need periodic fire to survive and thrive. The training exchange program not only provides experience and training for fire practitioners from across the country, but it also provides the skilled human power needed to conduct these planned burns.
Applications for WI-TREX are due by February 15. Additional information for those interested in the program is available at the following links:
- WI-TREX 2018 Announcement
- WI-TREX 2018 Application
- WI-TREX Facebook page
- For additional questions, email The Nature Conservancy’s, Eric Mark.
Not a fire professional but interested in learning more about prescribed fire?
Dates and information for the Aldo Leopold Foundation’s annual Introduction to Prescribed Burning workshop will be posted soon. Check our calendar of events.