Fire summit slated for Dec. 7-9 in Manhattan, Kansas

Contact: Brian Hays, 254-865-2061, bhays@ag.tamu.edu

MANHATTAN, KANSAS — The Fire Summit 2016: Changing Fire Regimes, a regional conference on fire science in the Great Plains, is set for Dec. 7-9 at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center in Manhattan, Kansas.

A prescribed fire to control cedar and prickly pear to increase native perennial grass burns across native range in Gillespie County. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Dr. Morgan Russell)  

The Fire Summit 20162016: Changing Fire Regimes will be held Dec. 7-9 at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center in Manhattan, Kansas.  (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Dr. Morgan Russell)

“This meeting is for all landowners, fire managers, firefighters and agency personnel who work with fire in the Great Plains,” said Brian Hays of Ardmore, Oklahoma, an associate director for the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources. “Fire is an inherent component of grassland systems of the Great Plains, so there is a need to share current fire science and management with these individuals as well as with rural fire districts and emergency managers”

The institute is part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

The summit is funded through a grant from the United States Geological Survey South Central Climate Science Center, awarded to the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and Texas A&M.

The event is co-sponsored by the Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition, Kansas State University Research and Extension, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program, Joint Fire Science Program and the Great Plains Fire Science Exchange.

“The Great Plains Fire Science Exchange exists to assist land managers and the fire community to make sound decisions based on the best possible information,” said Carol Blocksome of the exchange. “Through the exchange and this conference, we hope to strengthen collaboration within the fire community in the region in addition to having information available for policy makers.”

“Fire professionals from around the country will discuss relevant topics impacting prescribed fire use,” said Barth Crouch with Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition.

John Weir of Oklahoma State University said topics will include fire history in the Great Plains, smoke issues, fire success stories, state prescribed burning association reports, future directions for fire, fire policy, partnerships using fire and fire weather.

“We will also discuss weather and climate and its impact on fire through time,” said Mark Shafer with the University of Oklahoma.

Speakers include professionals from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program, Natural Resources Conservation Service and landowners, among others.

Tickets are $100 for agency and university personnel and $40 for landowners and students. Interested individuals can register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fire-summit-2016-changing-fire-regimes-tickets-27490002337

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