Firefighting is much more complicated than cutting fireline or dropping retardant to slow a wildfire. The science, technology and techniques used in firefighting are constantly evolving to ensure safety and effectiveness. And even for the most experienced firefighters and managers, it’s helpful to review and refresh training they have already received.

In short, training is a critical element in developing and maintaining a safe and professional wildland fire workforce. Not surprisingly, much of wildland fire training is developed, taught and shared with field offices, state and local agencies, universities and foreign nations. A primary goal of all the training is to provide consistent and compatible wildland fire operations anywhere in the country. 

One important group is the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG). The training staff consists of about 25 skilled professionals from the BIA, BLM, NPS, USFWS and USFS. NWCG’s work is divided into four chief areas: training development, instructional design, audio visual media and on-line training. 

Two training programs are especially worth highlighting:

The Great Basin Training Unit serves all agencies in the Great Basin Geographic Area, made up of Nevada and parts of Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. An average of 60 wildland fire, leadership, aviation and prescribed fire courses are offered to more than 1,000 personnel a year. Many of the attendees come from outside the Great Basin. 

The Wildland Fire Leadership program was developed to promote cultural change in the workforce and emphasize the vital importance of leadership principles by providing educational and leadership development opportunities. The importance of leadership on fires has been a constant concern for decades, especially when tragedy occurs. The Wildland Fire Leadership program was founded primarily to address those concerns. Since its inception, the leadership program has assisted in reducing accident rates and helped thousands of firefighters assume greater responsibility within the wildland fire community. It has served as a seedbed for a generation of wildland fire leaders. 

Training Links

Interagency Aviation Training
Interagency Aviation Training supports training standards for natural resource agency personnel for safe, efficient, and effective use of aviation resources 

Interagency Fire Program Management (IFPM)
Fire management qualifications standards established to improve firefighter safety and minimum qualifications standards for key fire management positions. 

National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center
The National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center is located in Tallahassee, FL. It provides opportunities for federal, state, local and tribal government agencies and other organizations to build skills and knowledge of prescribed fire, with an emphasis on field experience. 

National Advanced Fire & Resource Institute (NAFRI)
NAFRI is located in Tucson, AZ. It is a national-level center for strategic planning, development, and implementation of fire, fuels, resource, and incident management skills and educational processes. 

National Logistics Webinar
National Logistics Workshop provides assistance to any incident management personnel for information related to Logistics functions. 

Incident and Position Standards Committee
The Incident and Position Standards Committee (IPSC) provides national leadership in the development of wildland fire incident management standards and incident position standards that all NWCG agencies utilize for national mobilization while maintaining a long term strategic perspective.  

NWCG Training Catalog
Links to descriptions of all National Wildfire Coordinating Group courses and related materials. 

Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)
The intent of WFSTAR is to focus line-going personnel on operations and decision-making issues related to fireline and all-hazard incident safety in order to recognize and mitigate risk, maintain safe and effective practices, and reduce accidents and near misses. 

BLM National Fire Training and Workforce Development Program

The mission of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Fire Training and Workforce Development Program is to develop the wildland firefighting workforce through qualification standards, training standards, and workforce development programs in support of BLM fire management objectives. 

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Great Basin Smokejumpers based at NIFC
Wildland firefighters participate in a training session.
Wildland firefighters participate in a training session.
Great Basin Smokejumper at their morning briefing.
Great Basin Smokejumpers Training
Wildland firefighters participate in training.