Skip to main content


NWCG Courses

This course is designed to train individuals in the function and responsibilities of a Supervisory Dispatcher within an Incident Support Organization. Students selected for this course must be capable of performing as an Expanded Dispatch Support Dispatcher (EDSD) in all functional areas of an expanded dispatch organization. The course will provide trainees with a working knowledge of the necessary management skills and operational procedures for successful performance as a Supervisory Dispatcher.

This is a continuing education opportunity available to senior fire management leaders. The intent is to foster exchange of knowledge and experience in the art of leading during high-risk and complex incidents. L580 is designed to elicit an emotional impact driving behavioral/leadership changes within senior leadership of organizations; these leaders often have decades of experience and fixed behaviors.

Through lectures, case studies, a field trip, and interaction between students and faculty, this course will:

  • Explore the role of fire and fire management in ecosystem management.
  • Examine historical, social, political, legal, economic, and environment factors critical to fire management.
  • Provide the students with concepts, technologies and methods to actively engage in ecosystem management across the landscape.

This course was developed using an experiential and collaborative approach to learning. It is designed to be highly-engaging in dialogue, exercises, interactive scenarios, and simulations. The course is a comprehensive look at the Agency Administrator’s leadership role in highly complex issues within fire management programs. Topics include Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy, Fuels and Prescribed Fire Policy, risk management and decision-making, critical relationships, development of adaptive and resilient programs, and hosting complex incidents. The complex fire situation is highlighted with the intent to provide a comprehensive understanding of the processes necessary to effectively manage the situation. Included are the Agency Administrator’s briefing, developing and conveying clear intent and objectives, creating a healthy command climate and relationships within their teams and among partners and stakeholders, and other critical items.

RX510, Advanced Fire Effects, is a science-based course designed to support the integration of fire effects knowledge into land management programs. The course emphasizes the importance of considering fire effects in the design, implementation and monitoring of planned fire treatments over multiple spatial and temporal scales. In addition, many of the principles covered can be used to integrate fire effects in support of the wildfire decision-making process. This course recognizes that planning and implementing the use of fire in any capacity are independent activities, and provides opportunities for the burn boss and planner to work together. The course is an intensive session that provides college-level lectures, case studies, discussion groups, and testing procedures throughout the week. Instructors include agency and university scientists, agency resource specialists, and fire practitioners. Students have many opportunities to interact with the faculty. To successfully complete RX510, students are required to complete the pre-course work and attend all sessions for the entire week. Students should expect long days.

The primary purpose of this course is to provide the knowledge base for developing short-, mid-, and long-term geospatial fire analysis for the Long Term Analyst (LTAN) and Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN). This course conveys the latest processes and technology to assess weather, climatology, historic fires, fuels, and biophysical attributes to develop deterministic and probabilistic fire growth for various timeframes. Concepts taught will help an LTAN and FBAN perform at an acceptable level on a national basis without regard to geographic boundaries. The course is presented by distance learning, lectures, electronic presentations, and class discussion.

Using classroom lecture, dialogue, exercises and simulated incidents, students will develop their understanding and demonstrate the abilities to effectively function in a Command and General Staff (C&G) position of a Type 1 Incident Management Team and/or as an Agency Administrator hosting Complex Incidents. Students will discuss and practice the applicability of management principles to the incident management job, and the special considerations of incident management in differing geographic areas of the nation.

S520 incorporates experiential learning opportunities in the practice and application of critical concepts and responsibilities of Type 1 C&G Staff and Agency Administrators, coupled with active coaching, feedback and performance assessments.

S590 is an intensive course designed to provide prospective FBANs and LTANs with the groundwork they will need to succeed throughout the training process. The course focuses on the interpretation of fire behavior products and emphasizes the importance of communicating this information effectively. Ensuring the operational relevance of fire behavior information and inclusion of operational concerns into forecasts and briefings is highlighted as a key skill to providing useful input for both tactical and strategic decisions as well as being critical to fire fighter safety. The course focuses on the interpretation of fire behavior outputs and models on a variety of time scales ranging from immediate operational concerns to answering longer term strategic questions.

S590 is a highly interactive class with full participation required from all students. Course material is presented through a combination of online material and exercises. The residence portion of the class addresses key topics interspersed with in depth fire scenarios. During the fire simulations, students will produce products, briefings and documentation under tight time constraints as they would on a fire assignment.

This course is the highest-level instruction for the National Fire Danger Rating System.  The focus is to promote risk-informed decision making and fire planning for a wide array of fire danger-based decisions within wildland fire management.  This is accomplished through the course exercises which support the development and implementation of Interagency Fire Danger Operating Plans.  Students will be provided the skills to analyze and troubleshoot fire danger rating from the fire weather station scale to multiple fire danger rating areas. The course will provide individuals the technical skills to serve as instructors for geographic area level courses for all wildland fire agencies using the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS).

Non NWCG Courses

The Facilitated Learning Analysis (FLA) and Coordinated Response Protocol (CRP) are group learning approaches to review a broad spectrum of unintended outcomes or close calls ranging from fatalities and escaped fires to vehicle accidents. Through lectures, case studies, and interaction between participants and faculty, the course will:

• Illustrate concepts, technologies and methods to actively engage the FLA and CRP processes. 

• Examine case studies that describe a paradigm shift from blame to learning in the wake of an accident. 

• Demonstrate the use of storytelling to exploit accidents and other unintended outcomes as learning events. 

• Underline the concept of sense-making to enable FLA and CRP team members to overcome hindsight bias. 

• Move organizations towards a learning culture. 

The National Aerial Firefighting Academy (NAFA) is a training effort by and for personnel directly involved in aerial retardant and water delivery. The intent is to educate both Agency and Contract personnel using subject matter experts from both sectors.

This course is geared toward those who are new to the firefighting environment.

NAFA will provide participants information needed to safely and effectively work together in a congested airspace over a wildland fire incident. Tactics, operations and experience are integrated into this aerial firefighting training. The course provides a look into the “other pilot’s” job. which provides an important perspective needed to achieve the same goal: support the firefighters on the ground with aerial resources safely, effectively and efficiently.  

  • NAFA is a contract requirement for new Airtanker, Scooper and Level 2 SEAT pilots.
  • NAFA, NAFA II or NAFA III will meet the contract requirement for Airtanker Pilot in Command (AKPs) every three years. 

NAFA II is designed to provide aerial firefighters an advanced training experience to NAFA, utilizing flight simulator hardware and software, sand table exercises and classroom interaction. NAFA II simulations and problem-solving exercises will enhance the aerial firefighter’s effectiveness and safety awareness by providing complex problem-solving tasks while simulating a multi-aircraft fire airspace environment.

Pilots will fight fires from a simulated cockpit and will experience various aircraft emergencies and responses while over a fire environment. Real time fire scenarios will be utilized from simple initial attack to a complex fire environment.

  • NAFA is required first in order to take NAFA II.
  • NAFA II is a contract requirement for Level II Seat Pilots to obtain a Level I Upgrade.
  • NAFA II is a contract requirement for Level I Seat Pilots every three years (NAFA III meets this contract requirement and is the preferred option for existing Level 1 SEAT Pilots needing NAFA II).

This course is designed to provide aerial firefighters an advanced training experience to NNAFA - National Aerial Firefighting Academy and N9048 - National Aerial Firefighting Academy II, utilizing sand table exercises and classroom interaction. These simulations and problem-solving exercises will enhance the aerial firefighter’s effectiveness and safety awareness by providing complex problem-solving tasks while simulating a multi-aircraft fire airspace environment.

  • NAFA and NAFA II are required first in order to take NAFA III.
  • This course will meet the contract requirements for existing Level 1 SEAT Pilots (preferred option for existing Level 1 SEAT pilots) and for airtanker and scooper AKPs every three years.
  • Please note No flight simulators are used in this course. Those that need to have flight simulation will have to attend NAFA II in McClellan, CA.
  • This class is NOT appropriate, nor will it meet contract requirements for Pilots needing NAFA II for their upgrade to a Level 1 endorsement.

Stress First Aid (SFA) is a self-care and peer support model that comprises a set of supportive actions designed to help individuals assist each other in reducing the negative impacts of stress. SFA was designed originally to support military personnel, and subsequently tailored to support a wide range of occupations, including Wildland firefighters, EMS personnel, law enforcement, safety and natural resource professions. SFA is designed to be attentive to multiple sources of stress, practical, flexible, and tailored to the specific styles and needs of those involved.