Fox Valley Tech faculty learn how fire is used in wildlife management

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - The start of school is just around the corner. But before class is back in session at Fox Valley Technical College, teachers took some time to study up Thursday.

"One of the experiences that we're doing is wildlife habitat management utilizing fire," said Wildland Fire Instructor Jon Kellermann.

Teachers from different departments were able to watch controlled burns up close, and even got some hands-on experience starting and managing the burns.

"How fast the fires can come together and how they surround the whole are with fire and it eventually comes together. It was pretty amazing to watch," said admissions specialist Kevin Vosters.

"It's over with really quick, but it's hot," said Farm Business and Management Instructor Jeremy Hanson.

But staff weren't just learning about how to manage a wildfire, they were learning how prescribed fire can come in handy.

"Not all fire is bad,” said Kellermann. “I think we see a lot of that, especially in the news, so there is some really good fire, we can utilize fire for a good purpose."

Kellermann says fires can be used to help restore land for farming, and can also get rid of invasive species. It can also be used in many fields like agriculture and forest management.

"It allows sunlight to reach the soil it allows water to reach the soil so all those benefits will help that soil, help those vegetation,” said Kellermann.

Some staff had no idea about the benefits. Others knew about them, but didn't know HOW it worked.

"I had no clue, and it's really amazing how this looks devastated but it'll green up in a matter of days,” said Vosters.

"It's quick and easy, if we do it correctly,” said Hanson. “If we don't do it correctly we could have a big problem on our hands."

Kellermann was just glad to see everyone learning.

"It's great to just show them what we do, because a lot of times they don't get to see it," said Kellermann.