Prescribed fire in an ecological context

OSU’s Prescribed Fire Practicum has been designed to give fire management practitioners and students practical, hands-on experience designing and implementing prescribed burns. The course offers a conceptual framework in fire ecology and effects, fire history and burning practices of the Pacific Northwest, fuel assessment and categorization, fire weather and smoke mitigation considerations, prescribed fire safety and management, and much more. Participants will work collectively to design, implement, and assess a prescribed fire on one of OSU’s research forests, and will work in individually and in small groups to design and present a burn plan for another environment. We’ll emphasize understanding landowner management and ecological objectives, understanding burn complexity, and mitigating risk. Along the way we’ll share lots of resources and tips for making your future prescribed burns safe and successful.

Available to enrolled OSU students for 3 academic credits. Graduate and undergraduate options.

Organization and Schedule

  • Classroom and lab/field sessions, Friday’s Sept 29 through Dec 15, 2023
    • Classroom 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
    • Lab/field 1:00 – 4:50 p.m.
  • Prescribed burn exercise. Hold these three dates – we’ll burn on the first one where fuel and weather conditions cooperate: Sunday, Oct 15, 22, or 29. 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • NOTE: All sessions scheduled to be held in-person, on Fridays (and one Sunday). There is NO 2-week intensive session, as was offered in a previous version.


  • You must hold a current basic wildland firefighter (FFT2) qualification to participate in the prescribed burn exercise.
  • Need this qualification? OSU College of Forestry offers credit and non-credit opportunities to obtain FFT2. See our Guard School website for details.

Register for Fall Term, 2023

  • Undergraduate FOR452: Lecture CRN 20173 + Lab CRN 20175
  • Graduate FOR 552: Lecture CRN 20176 + Lab CRN 20178

Questions? Contact John Punches, course coordinator.

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