Women make up only 10% of the wildland firefighting community. The National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center (NIPFTC) aims to use prescribed fire as a catalyst to bring women together to become strong and assertive leaders, and to enhance longevity and success for women in wildland fire management.
During the 20-day session, participants will experience 10 to 12 days of hands-on burning in complex situations such as wildland urban interface, various fuel types, and will work for several different agencies with unique management objectives. Participants will gain up-to-date knowledge on prescribed fire safety, prescribed fire planning, smoke screening tools, monitoring, and current fire policy. They will also learn how prescribed fire practitioners have developed successful programs and public support.
The variety of field experience, along with the different prescriptions, planning procedures, and techniques of the various agencies, offers an accelerated learning program that will increase the home unit's capacity in fire management leadership. Participant progress will be evident through documenting training assignments and completion of tasks in NWCG Position Task Books.
- Discuss perspectives from working in a male dominated environment (e.g., challenging supervisors, barriers to long-term fire roles, family/life choices, experiences of seeking positions in leadership alongside men).
- Establish a network of women committed to pursuing long-term careers in wildland fire management.
- Find mentors who are invaluable for career progression.
- Gain practical leadership experience as RXB2, FIRB, ENGB, FEMO, FFT1 among other NWCG Position Task Books.
- Enhance strengths and improve upon weaknesses.
Dates and Schedule
The schedule consists of an orientation with presentations covering safety in the southeast, ignition techniques, fire research, and lessons learned, followed by field trips covering fire planning and implementation, fuels, research and ecology, and wildlife and fire. Burning will occur at cooperator sites located within the southeast. Federal, state, and private cooperators may be visited during this timeframe. On the last day, participants will closeout with NIPFTC Staff.
The session includes interaction with active federal and state prescribed fire programs. The selected session start/end point will be Tallahassee, Florida. During the session, participants will move within the geographic region to take advantage of burning windows and programs. This will necessitate changing lodging multiple times during the session.
Cost and Requirements
There is no tuition. All costs for travel, per diem, salary, and overtime will be the responsibility of the sending unit. NIPFTC will provide transportation during the session.
All participants must have watched the video "The New Generation Fire Shelter" (NFES-2712). Participants must also arrive with appropriate PPE.
How to Apply
The application deadline for the 2024 sessions is October 15, 2023. Applications are completed on the Wildland Fire Learning Portal. Click on the following: FLFW 20-Day Session Application and you will be redirected to the login page. Login with your Wildland Fire Learning Portal credentials and click on "Enroll Me." From there you should be able to complete the application.
If you don't have a Wildland Fire Learning Portal account follow the directions for creating one on the login page. Once you receive notification that you have an account, come back to this announcement and follow the above directions.
Quotes from Participants
“Your participation in this training has shown marked improvement in how you interpret your experiences in the agency. The exposure to this program has helped you gain confidence in your ability as a Regional Fire Coordinator and an understanding of operating in the day-to-day environment. Additionally, the exposure to peers who have experienced the same challenges you have, and the understanding of those challenges, has given you tools and skills in interactions with others. I hope that other female employees within our agency benefit from your exposure to this program and have an opportunity to attend.”
“FLFW has given me the opportunity to perform my duties at my comfort level, while also giving me confidence in my abilities by encouraging me beyond my comfort level.”
“I felt more comfortable in this type of setting with my peers to perform in some of those difficult training positions and felt supported and less judged.”
“Seeing a group of women work together reinforced, for me, the differences in men’s and women’s communication styles in a general sense, and the need for women to be able to find a middle ground when trying to bridge that gap between who they are as individuals and who they need to be as leaders in a male dominated industry.”
“Before starting my session with PFTC I didn't think that I wanted to pursue some of the higher qualifications as a wildland firefighter. I had my mind set that I would be a FFT1 and be happy with that. However, after the three weeks of being around these awesome, highly qualified women, now I want more for my career with fire. My new goal is to become qualified as a firing boss. I didn't expect to feel that way when I started this program.”
"This has inspired me to keep pursuing fire as a career - to know that I have a solid support network of women that I can rely on makes the journey easier and more tangible. It is an amazing feeling to finally know I am not alone."
"It influenced my ability to learn. I was able to focus on obtaining skills and knowledge rather than managing social approval."
Contacts for Additional Information
Jen Rabuck - NIMO Safety and Risk Program Specialist
Cell: (715) 661-0579