Landowner prescribed fire training workshops set for May 25-26 in South Dakota

Pete Bauman
South Dakota State University Extension Range Field Specialist

The South Dakota Grassland Coalition, SDSU Extension, and several partner organizations are sponsoring two landowner prescribed fire workshops at the end of May.

Workshops are single-day events and will be May 25-26 at the SDSU Oak Lake Field Station in northern Brookings County near Astoria. Participants can choose to attend either day. Classes begin at 9 a.m. with classroom sessions. Afternoon sessions will be outdoors, ending roughly at 5 p.m.

The focus of the work will be to instruct landowners on prescribed fire planning and implementation and will cover everything from preparing a written burn plan to preparing the fire unit to implementing the fire in a safe and effective manner. Key concepts will be human and equipment resources, timing, objectives, techniques, communications, and safety. Hands-on equipment instruction and live fire demonstrations will be part of the training days if weather is favorable.

Landowners with an interest in using fire for management of a variety of habitats should consider attending, including those interested in using fire for one or more of the following: CRP or other grassland program lands, native pasture, controlling woody species, or other.

This class will offer no specific certifications; rather, it is an opportunity to simply learn core lessons that apply to conducting safe prescribed fires, including discussion and rules on burning CRP and other USDA program lands.

Participants should wear only cotton or denim jeans/pants and other clothing. No stretchy jeans, leggings, or polyester clothing. Participants should also have leather boots, leather gloves, and eye protection (glasses or sunglasses are acceptable).

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no food or drink will be served. All food and drink is the responsibility of the participant. We will break for lunch but due to the remote location of the site, participants are asked to bring a lunch.

Registration fee: Free to SD Grassland Coalition member, $35 for non-members (includes an annual membership for 2021).

How to register: Contact Jan Rounds at the Watertown SD, SDSU Regional Extension Center, via email at or call her at 605-882-5140.