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News Release

July 13, 2005



(Columbia, SC) Land managers who conduct outdoor burning can reduce their liability by becoming Certified Prescribed Fire Managers. Training sessions are scheduled for Columbia on October 19 and Moncks Corner on November 30; a Saturday class is scheduled for January 21, 2006, in Columbia.

Conducted by the Forestry Commission, the one-day course teaches how to plan prescribed burns that comply with state air quality regulations. The regulations, called Smoke Management Guidelines, are mandatory for all forestry, wildlife, and agriculture burning in South Carolina.

Forestry Commission Training Director Paul Watts emphasized that this is not a beginner’s course in prescribed burning. “We’re not teaching folks how to burn,” he said. “This course deals with estimating smoke production, predicting smoke impacts, and legal issues.”

Achieving certification provides burners with limited liability protection under state law. Requirements include passing a written test, documenting one’s burning experience, and agreeing to conduct all burning according to standards set forth in the SC Prescribed Fire Act.

To register for any session, contact Paul Watts, 803-896-8837. The cost of the course is $15; applications are processed on a first come-first served basis. The deadline for registration is three weeks prior to the course.



For more information, contact: Paul Watts, 803-896-8837.

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