Private Land Pile Burn / Hazard Trees

We had a very good and productive roll to a private ranch in southern Colorado. Over the course of 10 days the following was accomplished:

  • We burned 41 machine piles, reducing the fuel loading and potential for catastrophic wildfire in the a critical river basin. These piles were the byproduct of several hundred acres of forestry work.

  • We cut out the conifer encroachment:

    • In 53 acres of aspen stands, as part of the ranch’s forest management plan to address ranch wide aspen decline

    • 16 acres of narrow leaf cottonwood bosque, improving riparian habitat and protecting an unique higher elevation gallery

  • We treated 12.75 miles of road, removing hazard trees along important Ranch access and emergency egress roads.

  • We conducted 2 days of live fire wildland fire training for Northern Arizona University SAFE (Student Association of Fire Ecology).  

  • Authored a 5 year, ranch wide, prescriptive pile burn plan. This plan is the first ever submitted under the new Archuleta County burn MOU program. The MOU program is the culmination of a big effort by our partners at CPLA to get Archuleta County to systematically support private land burning and create a sustainable platform for fire as a tool in mitigation.

Great Plains Fire Tour


Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota; March 2017

During the Great Plains Fire Tour, we will spend three days each in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. While in each state, participants will team with local prescribed fire practitioners to deliver ecologically meaningful fire to the landscape. Participants will be exposed to many of the different fuels, topographies, leadership styles, landownership patterns, prescribed fire tactics, and organizational formats that are present throughout the Great Plains. Time will be used on non-burn days to tour fire research sites, past wildfire locations, and fire management plans.

The Module will serve as a Single Resource Boss trainee (firing boss and engine boss), and will also lead the Fire Effects Module.

TAOS Trex - 2018


The Taos TREX's objectives are to safely and effectively reintroduce fire onto the local landscape by providing TREX participants with experience and training in planning and implementing prescribed fire.

Participants will serve in qualified and trainee firefighting positions on a burn team and will assist with preparing, scouting, briefing, igniting, holding, mop-up, and patrol on a controlled burn. 

The Module will serve as Incident Management Team members and Module Leaders.

Red Feather North Prescribed Fire


Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest, Canyon Lakes Ranger District; March 2018

The Module partnered with the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest, Canyon Lakes Ranger District to conduct 200 acres of prescribed fire located north of Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, east of the Crystal Lakes Subdivision.  The burn was part of a 5,000 acre unit.

Primary objectives of the prescribed fire were to reduce hazardous fuels adjacent to the wildland urban interface, improve forest health in ponderosa pine stands, and create watershed resiliency.

Soapstone Natural Area Prescribed Fire

City of Fort Collins, Colorado

The Module’s Type 5 engine supporting operations on the Soapstone Prescribed Fire.

The Module’s Type 5 engine supporting operations on the Soapstone Prescribed Fire.

The Module, the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas, The Nature Conservancy - Colorado ChapterSouthern Rockies Wildland Fire Module, Livermore Fire Protection District, and Wellington Fire Protection District conducted 840 acres of prescribed fire on the Plover and Gaura burn units at the Soapstone Natural Area in March of 2018. 

The prescribed fires reintroduced natural disturbance to the prairie and improved habitat for grassland birds, including the state-listed mountain plover and the McCown’s longspur, which both need bare ground within the grassland for nesting.  The fires also promoted fire-adapted native grasses (buffalo grass and blue grama), and improved habitat for the federally threatened Colorado butterfly plant.

The Module worked as a Line Boss and provided Type 5 Wildland Engine Crew support.

Alto Minho TREX

Paredes de Coura, Alto Minho, Portugal

Sixty-three fire practitioners from 16 agencies and organizations in six countries gathered to implement—and celebrate—the first Prescribed Fire Training Exchange held outside the United States.

The TREX model, created and developed by the Fire Learning Network in numerous places and ecosystems of the United States, was successfully employed in the Alto Minho region in northern Portugal, thanks to the guidance and mentoring enabled by the TREX Coaches Network.

The Module served as Fire Effects Module Leader during the event, and the group completed 395 acres of burning in 10 units strategically located near six towns in the area

Women-in-Fire TREX

Yosemite National Park, California

The second annual Women-In-Fire TREX brought women and men from across the United States, Canada, and Australia together to learn and burn with one another in fall of 2017.  One of the primary goals of this exchange is to connect women who work in the field of fire, provide quality training, mentoring, and networking opportunities.

The Module served as part of the planning committee, led the Fire Effects Module, and participated as an Incident Management Team member.

The group burned 20 acres of grass, and had the opportunity to assist with the Empire Fire, a naturally ignited wildfire managed in Yosemite National Park to reduce fuels, reduce the intensity of future wildfires, and ensure healthier, more diverse ecosystem functions

Riparian zone restoration and machine pile burning


Private Ranch, Southwest Colorado

In the late fall of 2017, the Module implemented 102 acres of riparian zone cottonwood restoration.  All encroaching conifers were cut, piled, and burned.  In addition to the riparian restoration, the Module also burned 80 large machine pules that were part of a fuels reduction project from spruce budworm damaged conifers.  Most of the material was extracted for recycled timber, and the rest was piled and burned.

Klamath River TREX

Orleans, California

In fall of 2017, 311 acres of prescribed fire was implemented throughout the Western Klamath Mountains.  This training taught participants how to plan and implement controlled burns, protect communities from wildfires, and prepare for managing wildfires for resource benefits.  Participants included interested individuals, tribal members, local contractors, federal and state firefighters, volunteer firefighters, non-profit organizations, university students, county/regional regulators and out-of-region and international guests and fire workers.

The Module served as Operations Section Chief, and also provided Type 5 Wildland Engine Crew support.

Vermejo Park Ranch Prescribed fire

Vermejo Park Ranch, New Mexico

The Module, The Nature Conservancy - Colorado Chapter, Stonewall Volunteer Fire Department, Vermejo Volunteer Fire Department, Raton Fire Department, and The Nature Conservancy's Fire Learning Network conducted prescribed burns on the Arch Red and Stubblefield units of Vermejo Park Ranch during the fall of 2017.  Over 950 acres of prescribed fire was implemented.

The Module worked as a Taskforce Leader / Line Boss, and provided Type 5 Wildland Engine Crew support.

Rio Trampas TREX

Taos, New Mexico

During the fall of 2017, the New Mexico State Land Office, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Stewards Guild, and The Nature Conservancy's Fire Learning Network orchestrated a collaborative, multi-party team for a TREX in the Rio Trampas watershed of northern New Mexico.

The Module provided Type 5 Wildland Engine Crew support, and served as a Single Resource Boss trainer and Line Officer.

All told, the Rio Trampas TREX contributed to putting fire on 160 acres of New Mexico state trust and BLM land.

Spanish Language TREX

Santa Fe, New Mexico

The seventh Spanish-Language TREX took place in fall of 2017, once again bringing together an international group of practitioners to share learning across fire cultures and continents. Led by a core team from the U.S., Canada and Spain, the TREX drew participants from Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and the U.S. 

The main objective of this international event is to further the integration and exchange of knowledge among Spanish-speaking wildland firefighters from around the world and in the U.S. This is accomplished by working together—sharing experiences in the field while performing controlled burns and analyzing effects of wildland fires.

The Module served as a core member of the Incident Management Team, and led the Fire Effects Module

Luera Mountains TREX

Magdalena, New Mexico

The Luera Mountains in southeast Catron County, New Mexico are a 15 mile long mountain range just south of the Plains of San Agustin. In early summer of 2017, a team of diverse prescribed fire practitioners put 6,094 acres of fire on the ground. 

The Module filled roles in the Incident Management Team, led the Fire Effects Module, and worked as a Burn Boss Type 2 trainee.

The prescribed fire helped to restore the mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, and pinon/juniper woodlands to conditions within their natural range of variability

Chama TREX

Chama, New Mexico and Pagosa Springs, Colorado

In May 2017, the Chama Peak Land AllianceThe Nature Conservancy, the San Juan National Forest and other local, national and international partners hosted the region’s first Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX).

The Module filled roles in the Incident Management Team, led the Fire Effects Module, worked as a Burn Boss Type 2 trainee, and provided Type 5 Wildland Engine Crew support.

Fire management experience and on-the-job training was provided for an eclectic group of private land managers and more than 20 people from local, state and federal agencies.  A total of 160 acres of fire was implemented throughout northwest New Mexico and southwest Colorado.