We’re just weeks away from the biggest fire conference in the midwest! Burning Issues is a two-day workshop designed to give land managers, researchers, students, resource specialists, biologists, ecologists and fire practitioners a chance to share their expertise in a way that tackles the biggest issues we face in wildland fire and prescribed fire work. With speakers from the USDA Forest Service, Michigan DNR, and various elite academic institutions, Burning Issues is a one-stop shop for those wishing to learn more about fire; whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, there’s something for everyone to learn.
I can remember my first Burning Issues, which was just last year. I’d just gotten into fire and hadn’t even been on my first burn yet. I was in the middle of completing S130/190 online, and was filled with wonder, excitement, and tons of questions. I didn’t understand the fire world yet, didn’t get what our role was, or what we really accomplished aside from getting to watch stuff burn in a really cool way. Burning Issues was hugely important for me. Being surrounded by professionals, researchers, people who make their living doing fire, was as humbling as it was invigorating. The conversations I had at Burning Issues made me aware of the passion in the fire community, the love and curiosity that brings people into this field. Sure, we get to light stuff on fire, but we’re also carrying on a hugely important process that has existed for longer than just about anything else on earth. I was exposed not only to passionate individuals, but also their research, their planning, their insight, their beliefs, their (if you will) fuel.
Getting to learn firsthand from professionals gave me the kick I needed to dive further into the fire world. I started researching, comparing techniques, looking up ways to improve the burn program I was a part of. I became consumed by fire, and I can point my finger at Burning Issues as the event that sparked so much of my interest. Sure, I’m biased since I work for the Council now, but I can truly say that Burning Issues was an extremely important event for me, as far as my diving into the fire world goes. I sincerely hope you’ll be able to say the same.