Contact Us

Questions or comments? Please use this contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Get in Touch
Rogue Basin Prescribed Fire Training Exchange TREX logo

Rogue Basin Prescribed Fire Training Exchange

The Rogue Basin Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (RBTREX) is a collaboration between local agencies, non-profits, and community organizations advancing local capacity to put prescribed fire to work in ecological restoration and providing hands-on training opportunities. RBTREX brings together new and seasoned fire practitioners alike who are looking to gain experience and advance their certifications on live understory prescribed fire operations. We also bring added capacity to existing landscape-scale restoration projects in the Rogue Basin, providing additional personnel resources that allow agency and NGO partners to accomplish more acres of treatment.

The mission of RBTREX is to promote effective cooperative prescribed burning to build robust local capacity—helping diverse partners bring together staff, skills, resources, and cultural perspectives to optimize opportunities for prescribed fire education, forest stewardship, and professional training. 

RBTREX partners envision resilient, fire-adapted communities and landscapes maintained by diverse community members and a network of partners learning from and using prescribed fire together when specific conditions and resources allow.

The essential role of fire

Fire caused by lightning, and cultural fire used by indigenous peoples for millennia, has shaped and maintained the forests of the Rogue Basin. Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge and scientific studies have demonstrated that regular fires occurred every 5-10 years or more frequently in our local dry forest ecosystems. These burns, which were usually low- to moderate-intensity, removed small brush and trees, cleared fallen debris from the forest floor, maintained wildlife habitat, enhanced cultural resources, and improved forest health.

In the absence of regular fire, large areas of forest have grown overly dense, and are at much higher risk of severe wildfire and issues with insects and disease. Even where dense complex forests occurred historically, studies suggest that such areas are now threatened by severe fire delivered by the surrounding area.

Returning beneficial fire to the ecosystem is essential to restoring forest health. Partners must first set the stage for the reintroduction of fire through ecological thinning and hand pile burning, to reduce the amount of fuels and create optimal conditions for beneficial fire. Practitioners can then conduct an understory prescribed burn by creating a containment line and then carefully apply fire to the ground, allowing it to slowly creep across the forest or meadow floor, devouring duff, leaf litter, and downed woody debris.

Prescribed understory burns are the most cost effective, ecologically-optimal tool for maintaining restoration treatments over time. Once an area has been thinned and burned in prescribed fire, a subsequent wildfire will generally behave in a more benign or even beneficial way. Additionally, wildfires burning through an area that has been recently thinned and underburned produce half as much smoke compared with fires in untreated areas.

How does the program work?

The RBTREX is creating opportunities for diverse fire practitioners from around the region to advance their skills and certifications through hands-on trainings during prescribed burns at ecological restoration project sites. RBTREX participants are on standby as fire managers watch for appropriate spring conditions, when the ground dries enough to carry low-intensity fire, combined with an exacting combination of temperatures, humidity, winds, and fire management personnel and equipment for safe fire containment. When conditions align, fire management officers at the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management Medford District can request RBTREX personnel to assist and learn during planned prescribed fire operations.

How is RBTREX funded?

Rogue Basin TREX is supported by a grant titled Promoting Ecosystem Resilience and Fire Adapted Communities Together, a cooperative agreement between The Nature Conservancy, USDA Forest Service and agencies of the Department of the Interior.
Rogue Basin Prescribed Fire Training Exchange TREX logo
Learning Together, Burning Together.
Our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

A diverse fire practitioner workforce increases knowledge, skills and abilities by sharing scientific ecological knowledge, local knowledge of weather patterns and fire behavior, and cultural knowledge. When landowners, volunteers, biologists, scientists, managers and other individuals are trained and qualified, they may assist with prescribed burns and other fire management activities.

Partners of RBTREX

The Rogue Basin Prescribed Fire Training Exchange is co-produced by the Rogue Forest Partners, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and The Nature Conservancy, with additional support from these partners:

USDA Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
The Nature Conservancy
Oregon Department of Forestry
USDI Bureau of Land Management
Rogue Valley Prescribed Burn Association
Oregon State University Forestry and Extension
Grayback Forestry
Oregon Department of Forestry
USDI Bureau of Land Management

Additional Resources

Using bird species such as Nashville Warbler to monitor increases in understory habitat.

Prescribed Fire Basics with OSU

OSU’s Fire Program has published a 12-part collection of modules to provide introductory-level information on prescribed burning.

Using bird species such as Lark Bunting to monitor wildlife habitat during forest restoration..

2023 RBTREX announcement

Rogue Basin Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (RBTREX) implements collaborative training to increase local capacity for prescribed fire.

Pacific-slope Flycatcher, photo by Frank Lospalluto

Applications for 2023 RBTREX

Submit your application by February 24, 2023 to join the Rogue Basin Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (RBTREX) 2023 season.