Assistant district forester receives award

Brad Allen has been named recipient of the 2023 State Forester’s Prescribed Burning Award.

Allen is the assistant district forester with the Rockingham District of the N.C. Forest Service, serving Anson, Chatham, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond, Scotland and Stanly counties.

Assistant District Forester Brad Allen, whose service area includes Stanly County, has received a state award. (Contributed)

“Brad has been a leader in District 3 for prescribed fire,” said Keith Money, assistant regional forester for NCFS Region 2. “He has a passion for fire, and it’s reflected in his burning accomplishments. Brad is constantly promoting the use of prescribed fire to landowners, N.C. Forest Service employees and other partner agencies.”

The State Forester’s Prescribed Burning Award is presented annually to a N.C. Forest Service employee or team of employees who demonstrate leadership and excellence in accomplishing prescribed burning in North Carolina’s forests.

Prescribed fires are low intensity fires intentionally set in a defined area to achieve specific management objectives such as improving wildlife habitat, reducing wildfire risk and promoting healthier forestland. It’s a low-cost forest management tool that is used often throughout North Carolina. The State Forester’s Prescribed Burning Award is a token of appreciation to those who are committed to increasing prescribed fire in North Carolina.

Allen, a Richmond Senior High School alum, has been serving the NCFS District 3 area since December 2005, beginning as a service forester. He was promoted to assistant district forester in April 2018.

The district’s active burning program promotes forest management through site preparation burns, hazard reduction burns and silvicultural burns. So far in 2023, Allen has been involved with 27 prescribed fires, improving nearly 1,200 acres across eight counties in three districts. NCFS District 3 staff have carried out 99 burns for more than 4,000 acres.

“Not only has he taken the initiative in District 3, but Brad’s willingness to assist throughout the region has helped increase the number of prescribed burns the division has been able to achieve,” said State Forester David Lane. “Brad is constantly looking for ways to apply prescribed fire to areas where it’s needed by serving as a burn boss, coordinating burns as the district operations officer and running smoke management models.”

Allen was also recognized as the 2019 Employee of the Year for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in addition to being named employee of the month for January 2019. He was also nominated for the 2020 Governor’s Award for Excellence. Before joining the N.C. Forest Service, Allen worked for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

To learn more about the benefits of prescribed fire and how it may help keep woodlands healthy and resilient, visit https://www.ncforestservice.gov/goodfire.