Few tree-ring based fire-history studies have been completed in pine ecosystems of the Southeastern Coastal Plain, in part because of difficulties in finding old fire-scarred material. We propose specialized field methods that improve the likelihood of locating fire scars in dead trees (i.e. stumps, snags, and logs). Classic fire-history field methods developed in the southwestern United States involve targeting only trees with evidence of repeated external scarring, but we have found this approach to be less effective in our region given that trees without any external scarring may contain an abundance of buried scars. The buried scars occur primarily near the ground surface and can be sampled by collecting full cross-sections from the bases of old dead trees. We hope our insights foster further fire-history research in the Southeastern Coastal Plain.