By RT Lumpkin, GFC Prescribed Burn Center Coordinator
Prescribed Burn Awareness Week is Jan. 30 through Feb. 5 in Georgia – a time to recognize the many benefits of this important forest management tool. Are you interested in prescribed burning this year? Do you have all the tools to burn with? The GFC has two burn trailers in west-central Georgia that contain specialized equipment to help improve the efficiency and safety of your next prescribed burn.
These burn trailers are housed in Marion and Talbot Counties but are available to all surrounding counties. The contents of each trailer were selected with feedback from local landowners. The first trailer (Marion Co.) was assembled with the support of local partners and without the use of any state funds. The second trailer (Talbot Co.) was assembled with grant funding via the Longleaf Alliance/Georgia Sentinel Landscape Pilot Project. These trailers are designed to be pulled with your pickup to your burn site and be a toolbox for prescribed burning.
The contents of each trailer are similar. Both contain hand tools (shovels, fire rakes), four drip torches, two backpack blowers, a weed eater, a chainsaw with PPE, two five-gallon backpack sprayers, three “Prescribed Burn Ahead” road signs, ATV water tank, and a pull-behind 27 HP leaf blower. The first trailer has more and a wider variety of hand tools. The second trailer has an additional ATV water tank and a 65-gallon nurse tank that can be used to refill ATV tanks via the solar-powered 12-volt pump.
The 27 HP leaf blower is used to clean out established roads or old fire breaks and can be pulled behind an ATV or UTV. It has an adjustable direction turbine blower some call a “dog-tosser.” The speed and direction of the blower can be adjusted via the wireless remote control. You can even turn it on and off without leaving the seat of the ATV. It is powerful enough to blow branches, thatch, and leaves from most firebreaks. This tool is especially useful for firebreaks that are highly prone to erosion.
Both trailers contain equipment that requires maintenance from normal wear and tear. To cover expenses and ensure the trailer is operational when you need it, there is a $100 per day rental fee. Upon pick up and return of the trailer, an inventory will be performed. Missing or damaged (not related to normal wear and tear) items will be invoiced along with the daily rental rate.
Additionally, if you have a completed Forest Stewardship Plan (FSP) for your property the daily rental rate is cut in half to $50 per day. FSP’s are written to help each landowner reach their long-term management objectives as fast as possible. Each plan starts with a meeting between a local forester and a landowner to determine their specific long-term goals. These may be timber production, wildlife habitat, aesthetics, recreation, or water quality – or a blend of these. These plans contain detailed, current stand maps and a list of suggested practices that will help each reach set long-term goals – for example, when each stand should be burned. These plans are written at no cost to a landowner. For more information about these plans visit https://gatrees.org/forest-management-conservation/forest-stewardship-program/ or your local GFC office.
The GFC offers limited trailer delivery and pick-up through grant funding, which will only continue if funding is sustained. You can always pick up and return the trailer to your local GFC office.
If you have questions about renting the burn trailer, please contact RT Lumpkin at 478-957-0307 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information can be found on our website at https://gatrees.org/fire-prevention-suppression/cflrxfirecoop/. If you are not located in west-central Georgia, you may still have access to a trailer. Golden Triangle RC&D in Terrell Co. currently has a trailer available to rent and several other RC&D’s across south Georgia are building more. Eight or more trailers are expected to become available to private landowners there this year.