My burning experience:
I have been conducting controlled burns and fighting wildfires for 28 years now. This started as part of my PhD research and I never stopped. I have trained with and trained firefighters across the nation. That said, the bulk of my time is spent training and working with local firefighters, land managers and farmers.
At Doane I work with students helping them get real world hands on experience in firefighting. These can be huge skills for students pursuing jobs in environmental science, conservation, fish and wildlife, natural resource jobs, range management and other land management fields.
Additionally, many students choose to do research on fire behavior, firefighter safety, and prescribed fire techniques.
Our student burn crews:
Students work with me to receive training so that they can participate on burns. Real world out of the classroom experience is in valuable to competing for jobs in today's competitive market. Almost every ecosystem in the US is a fire adapted ecosystem. Being able to show future employers that you did more than just notes helps you move to the top of the resume pile.
My research centers around conducting safer burns. Sometimes that is simply using better techniques, sometimes that is looking at equipment, other times it is looking at firefighter safety. My research students range from Nurses, Occupational Therapy students, Physical Therapy students to the full range of Fish and Wildlife students, range management and conversation students.
Fireguards or firebreaks come in a lot of shapes and sizes. In the videos below, I cover my 28 years of experience with them in the tall grass prairie. The fire break serves several roles on a prescribed fire. All of which can be improved by adding width and raking all mulch off the break. On a burn day, this should be one of your best tools.
Heat Load on prescribed firefighters:
Clothing for volunteer crews: