Wind Cave National Park, Nebraska National Forest Join to Teach Firefighters Ignition Operations Course

Firefighters scattered around a grasslands landscape with a small fire burning.
Students and instructors conduct a live fire exercise at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.

On May 2-4, 2014, students of wildland fire and fire management from the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Nebraska Forest Service, South Dakota Division of Wildland Fire, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pheasants Forever, and private contractors learned key principles of firing operations in the wildland and prescribed fire environments at a cooperative presentation of the S-234, Ignition Operations course, offered at the Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy in Ft. Robinson, Nebraska.

Instructors Aaren Nellen of Wind Cave National Park and Brian Daunt of Nebraska National Forest offered classroom and hands-on instruction in course components including land navigation, fuel models, and fire and aviation operations. Students also had the opportunity to take part in a live fire exercise managed by the Black Hills Wildland Fire Module at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.

S-234 teaches students critical risk management skills by introducing how factors such as different fuel models, topography, and weather can affect fire behavior. The course also provides hands-on training in firing operations.

Through interagency cooperation across national and state agencies as well as private conservation agencies and contractors, students of fire from across the Northern Great Plains learned valuable lessons in conducting smart, ecologically sound, and above all, safe, fire operations.

Contact: Michael Zimny, forestry technician, Wind Cave National Park
Email: e-mail us
Phone: (219) 395-8150