The Pottawattamie County Conservation Board (PCCB) is a strong advocate of using prescribed fire as a tool for improving the health and longevity of its natural areas. The PCCB has been implementing fire on county property since the mid-1990s. Through staffing, training, experience, and equipment improvements, the PCCB has continued to build its capacity to burn larger and more difficult units.
The Natural Areas Management program has been trying to restore the historic fire return interval within the Loess Hills to improve the health of the ailing natural areas by implementing fire on public and private land. Remnant prairie, reconstructed prairie, savanna, woodlands, and riparian areas are all ecosystems included within the NAM burn plans.
The Natural Areas Management program operates a prescribed burn crew to assist with their spring and fall burn seasons. The crew consists of fulltime staff, interagency partners, and "day hire" firefighters. All burn crew members must be certified through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) with the S130/190 Basic Fire Training course, as well as taking an annual fire refresher and an annual Work Capacity Test.
The Pottawattamie County Conservation Board and The Nature Conservancy have teamed up to provide the opportunity to take the S130/190 Basic Wildland Fire Training course on a bi-annual basis. It is an online course that also requires a Field Day (in March or October). For more information on taking the course, please contact Chad Graeve.
For other fire training opportunities within the region, please visit the Iowa DNR Fire website to find dates, locations, and courses.
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