Wildfire Training

Interagency firefighters gather for a briefing during an outdoor wildland fire training.
Interagency firefighters participate in All Fire Day, an annual training involving NPS, USFS, and neighboring fire departments in Wyoming.

NPS Photo

Training provides a critical foundation for safety and operational effectiveness in the National Park Service's (NPS) organizational response to wildland fire. At the individual park level, the NPS provides basic wildland fire training for its employees and interagency cooperators. The training, or funding to attend training, is provided to ensure the Service has the capacity to effectively and appropriately respond to wildland fire on its lands and to support interagency partners as part of a cohesive national wildland fire response and management effort.

Incident Qualifications and Wildland Fire Training

The NPS is a member of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) and by policy, utilizes the NWCG National Incident Management System (NIMS) Wildland Fire Qualifications Guide as the primary document which outlines training and experience requirements for NPS employees who hold qualifications specific to wildland fire.

Wildland fire training is provided to NPS employees who are employed in both wildland fire-specific, as well as other agency positions such as park rangers - both protection and interpretation, natural resource specialists, and others. The training of employees in “non-fire” disciplines is critical to the success of the NPS wildland fire program as these employees provide additional capacity both locally and nationally.

The training offered ranges from entry level firefighter training to advanced incident management training courses and is developed and maintained by the NWCG Training Development Program. NWCG training courses follow a 100-600 level progression with 100 and 200 level courses delivered locally, and 300-600 level courses delivered at regional interagency training centers around the United States. A comprehensive list and description of NWCG training courses is available in the Field Manager's Course Guide and a current schedule of course offerings is available at the National Wildland Fire Learning Portal.

Workforce Development

Separate from wildland fire, qualifications-specific training also provided by the Service gives wildland fire employees opportunities to develop critical management, technical and leadership competencies. These opportunities are supported locally with programmatic funds and at the national level through a workforce development grant program that enables education, supplemental training and varied experience opportunities to be pursued.

Last updated: October 1, 2020