The Ohio Prescribed Fire Council was formed in 2014 to promote and support the responsible use of prescribed fire in fire-adapted ecosystems in Ohio. It is a coalition of partners using prescribed fire as one of many land management tools, primarily in grasslands, prairies, savannas, and oak-hickory woodlands. The goals of the Council include sharing of prescribed fire information, public outreach and education, promoting fire safety and training, supporting fire research, review of prescribed fire regulations, and fostering the continued use of science-based prescribed fire. The steering committee of 13 members includes representatives from the ODNR Divisions of Forestry, Wildlife, & Natural Areas & Preserves; US Forest Service; US Fish & Wildlife Service; Ohio EPA; 4 Metro Parks; and The Nature Conservancy. At least 26 other states now have prescribed fire councils, supporting the use of prescribed fire.
Accomplishments by the Council since 2014 include a general meeting open to the public in June 2016, review of OEPA and DOF prescribed fire rules and policies, assistance with review of the Division of Forestry's certified prescribed fire manager training, and providing training for the Division of Wildlife's fire managers in March 2016. We are currently developing a training for land managers new to the use of prescribed fire, as a precursor to the Division of Forestry's fire manager training.