Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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Who We Are

The Wisconsin Prescribed Fire Council is a coalition of government agencies, organizations, contractors, and individuals striving to make the use of prescribed fire in Wisconsin more safe, effective, and accepted for all practitioners.

Board of Directors


Adam Gundlach

Lakeshore Nature Preserve

Vice Chair

Eric Mark

The Nature Conservancy


Clay Frazer

Eco-Resource Consulting/Pheasants Forever


Yari Johnson

UW Platteville

Other Board Members:

Carl Cotter, Carl Korfmacher, Stacey Marion, Jordan Rowe, Matt Smith and Paul Quinlan

Our Mission

As members of the WIPFC we strive to make the use of prescribed fire in Wisconsin safer and more accepted for all practitioners. Members agree to conduct their prescribed fire related activities in a professional manner to the best of their abilities, and to strive to follow the standards established by the Council.

Members agree that the Council endorses two alternative sets of prescribed fire crew training requirements: self-regulation according to Council standards, or compliance with National Wildfire Coordinating Group requirements.

Members will strive to enhance the public perception of prescribed fire in their fire-related activities. When appropriate, we will work cooperatively with government agencies, for-profit businesses, private individuals and non-profit conservation organizations to accomplish our goals of using, promoting and enhancing prescribed fire as a land management tool in Wisconsin.

Membership is free and open to any interested individuals, organizations, businesses, or agencies. See below to become a member.

Our Members

Our Members

Our members are passionate about the advancement of prescribed fire in Wisconsin and abroad. We have representatives from government agencies, private contractors, non-profit organizations, landowners, universities, and more. We range widely in perspectives and experience levels; which makes for good discussion and dynamic events. We encourage everyone who shares our mission to join the listserve or come to a meeting.

Become a Member

Membership is free and open to any interested individual, organization, business, or agency.

To become a member please send us your name, email address and the organization in which you belong. JOIN HERE

WPFC Listserve

Join the discussion! Subscribe to our Listserve to receive emails on current fire topics, including:  training events, council meetings, group discussions, and more. JOIN HERE

WPFC Facebook

Follow us on Facebook to keep up with the latest news in the prescribed fire community. On Facebook we connect with organizations through out the country to better keep you informed. JOIN HERE

Our History

The Wisconsin Prescribed Fire Council was organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes. The specific purposes of the Council are to:

  •  Make the use of prescribed fire in Wisconsin safer and more accepted for all practitioners
  •  Provide a unified voice representing the prescribed fire community in Wisconsin
  •  Promote the use of prescribed fire as a land management tool in Wisconsin
  •  Educate practitioners and the general public
  •  Enhance the public perception of prescribed fire
  •  Promote professionalism in the prescribed fire community
  •  Encourage cooperation among non-profit conservation organizations, government agencies, for-profit businesses, and private individuals

Prescribed fire is an important land management tool for achieving ecological, agricultural, wildfire protection, and other objectives. In Wisconsin, prescribed fire is used by government agencies, non-profit organizations, for-profit businesses, and private landowners to achieve these objectives. There is no regulatory framework specifically designed to regulate prescribed fire. Prescribed burning falls under regulations designed to control wildfire, which do not always adequately address prescribed burning issues.

In the past, there has been no means for all of the different entities and individuals involved in prescribed fire to formally work together to promote safe and effective use of prescribed fire in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Prescribed Fire Council was formed to meet this need.

The Council's origins date to 2003, with informal meetings of prescribed fire practitioners from The Nature Conservancy, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Prairie Enthusiasts, and other organizations. Originally known as the "Private Lands Prescribed Burn Group", the group established committees to address prescribed fire issues including agency policy, outreach and education, insurance, cooperation and partnership, and training. Following the example of a similar group in Michigan, the name "Wisconsin Prescribed Fire Council" was adopted. Over the next several years, the Fire Council carried out the following activities:

  • Compiled a list of prescribed burn practitioners.
  • Surveyed practitioners regarding their education and training needs.
  • Created a door hanger to be used to notify neighbors when a prescribed burn is to occur. Created five habitat-specific education inserts for the door hanger, describing the habitats an why they are burned.
  • Cooperated with an Iowa DNR-funded project to survey prescribed burn practitioners regarding escapes and insurance claims, and to develop an insurance product to cover prescribed burns.
  • Developed a set of training standards for burn crew members that would provide a minimum training requirement for burn crews that cannot practically meet the National Wildfire Coordinating Group requirements.
  • Developed a burn plan standard defining the minimum information to be included in a prescribed burn plan.
  • Created bylaws, which were adopted in July of 2005 and have continuously been updated.
  • Developed a Statement of Membership Principles, approved in July 2005.
  • Developed this website -
  • Created an email distribution list to communicate Council business and other information of interest to prescribed fire practitioners. As of July 2010 there are 156 people signed up to receive the emails.
  • Sponsored a Prescribed Fire roundtable discussion at the North American Prairie Conference in September 2004.
  • Organized a three-day conference, "Prescribed Fire: Igniting Possibilities for Land Management", in January 2006. The conference featured 35 presentations, 5 plenary sessions, and had over 350 attendees.
  • Formed a committee to advocate for legislation that would formalize regulations for prescribed burns and provide liability protection for prescribed burners who follow best practice standards.
  • Published an information brochure described the Fire Council.
  • Provided input to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in the development of a state Smoke Management Plan.
  • Provided input to US EPA on proposed changes to smoke management regulations.
  • Provided information to the national Coalition of Fire Councils regarding prescribed fire in Wisconsin.
  • Formally incorporated in September 2008.
  • Adopted new bylaws in January 2009.
  • Organized a three-day conference, "Prescribed Fire: Learning from the Past, Planning for the Future", in January 2009. The conference featured 37 presentations, 7 plenary sessions, and had over 320 attendees.

The Council organized and hosted the following training courses:

  • Advanced Firefighter, November 2004
  • Burn Planning workshop, January 2006
  • Basic Firefigher, November 2006
  • Advanced Firefighter, November 2006
  • Burn Planning workshop, January 2007
  • Ignitions workshop, January 2007

In addition, the Council sponsored and helped present the following workshops that were hosted by the Aldo Leopold Foundation:

  • Ignitions workshop, January 2008
  • Fire Behavior workshop, January 2008
  • Two Introduction to Prescribed Burning workshops, March and April 2008

In June 2010, the Council cosponsored, with The Nature Conservancy and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Midwest Interagency Engine Academy, an intensive 7-day training course that provided classroom and hands-on learning experience on the use of wild land fire engines for 37 participants.