Build your prescribed fire skills and restore ecosystem health

Build your prescribed fire skills and collaborate with others who are working to restore ecosystem health.

Our range of prescribed fire course offerings, workshops, and field opportunities are designed for you in mind—whether you are volunteering your time to help steward the land or are pursuing additional training for fire and forest stewardship careers.

Our landscapes become more resilient when all people are empowered

Fire Forward programs strive to increase ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, and gender diversity among people who protect and care for our natural landscapes. We collaborate with local organizations such as Conservation Corps North Bay, LandPaths, North Bay Jobs with Justice, and Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program to ensure that people from diverse backgrounds can overcome employment hurdles and have access to meaningful, well-paying jobs.


Photo credit: Sashwa Burrous

A range of trainings whether you are new to the field or working on fireline leadership certifications

Some offerings are seasonal or periodic. Please review descriptions below and contact us if you have questions.

Basic Wildland Fire Training Field Day (S-130 Field Day for FFT2 Qualification):

The S-130 Field Day is the final component of a series of online, free courses and a physical work capacity test that culminate in qualification as a “Basic Wildland Firefighter.” The field day consists of 14 hands-on learning stations taught by leaders from the Good Fire Alliance community and other local partners, including content such as shelter deployment, handline production, nozzle and pump operations, firing techniques and devices, weather monitoring, and more.

While some controlled burns led by Good Fire Alliance members do not require this qualification to participate, many others do. Completion of this course series qualifies you to participate in any burn happening within the Good Fire Alliance community. Qualification as an NWCG FFT2 is also the basic standard for hiring of all wildland fire ground-personnel. This qualification requires an annual refresher of four hours and an annual physical work capacity to maintain currency.

Photo credit: Sashwa Burrous

Apprentice Program

Our Prescribed Fire Apprentice program is a full-time, paid opportunity for people interested in prescribed fire stewardship careers to build their knowledge and skills with hands-on training and skills development. 

The apprenticeship is entry-level; no prior experience or education in the field is required. Apprenticeship positions last one year, January through December; hiring for each year’s cohort begins in September. Five positions are available each year.

Prescribed Fire Apprentices build all the same skills as the Fellows, but through full-time employment immersing them in the field and allowing extensive experiential learning and training opportunities. Apprentices gain extensive field experience in planning, preparing, implementing, and monitoring prescribed fire and fuels reduction projects.

Planning and Implementation

  • site visits,
  • development of goals and S.M.A.R.T. objectives,
  • burn plan writing,
  • smoke management plan development,
  • permitting processes,
  • fire behavior modeling tools,
  • Incident Action Plan development, 
  • unit preparations,
  • prescribed fire experience,
  • understory thinning, 
  • shaded fuel break development, and
  • pile burn implementation.

Landscapes and Monitoring

  • mixed evergreen forest and redwood, coastal prairie, annual grassland, mixed oak woodland, chaparral, and shrubland,
  • instruction on fire behavior monitoring and first-order fire effects, 
  • fuel transects and pre-and post-fire monitoring, 
  • herbaceous diversity measurements,
  • fuel moisture sampling, and 
  • seed collection. 

Leadership and Community Development and Job Placement

  • fireline courses (NWCG and SFT),
  • relationship building,
  • public speaking,
  • workshop leadership,
  • high performance teaming,
  • expanding collaborations with regional organizations, tribes, and agencies,
  • support with individual job search, resume preparation, and reference needs.

Coursework includes: Support for online Basic 40, S-130 Field Day, S-211, S-212, S-219, S-131, L-280, CA-RX

Photo credit: Sasha Berleman

Fire Forward Fellowship: Gain Fireline Leadership Skills and Advance Your Career

Our year-long prescribed fire fellowship partners with private landowners, public agencies, and conservation partners to invest in the professional development of community members as regional prescribed fire leaders.

Now in its second year, the fellowship welcomes 15 early-to-mid path professionals in fields related to fuels and fire management, ecology, or the like, who commit to an average of 300 hours of course and field work, and who are supported throughout the year by their employers. The fellowship is intended for people who are already qualified as Basic Wildland Firefighters (FFT2) and who have participated in a minimum of six prescribed burns. People earlier in their work with prescribed fire are encouraged to review the Apprenticeship opportunity, above.

Coursework includes: S-211, S-212, S-219, S-131, L-280, CA-RX

During their time in the program, Fellows also receive one-on-one mentoring in prescribed burn planning, which may include site visits, permitting, agency coordination, unit preparation, mapping, monitoring, community organizing, and burn implementation.

The fellowship training aligns with the State-Certified Prescribed Fire Burn Boss (CA-RX) requirements and approaches NWCG Squad Boss requirements.

Next application period: Spring 2023. Please check back for open enrollment link.

Photo credit: Wendy Coy

Experienced prescribed fire managers: Help build the capacity of your community to steward land with good fire


California Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Certification (CA-RX)

This training is intended for experienced prescribed or cultural fire practitioners who wish to be recognized by the state for their knowledge and expertise. This certification is intended for a broad audience involved in application of prescribed fire on non-federal lands across the state, such as retired fire professionals, landowners and community members, NGO staff, private contractors, tribal members and cultural burners, state and local agency staff, and others.

Candidates must meet program pre-requisites, attend 40-hours of in-person classroom sessions, complete a task book and receive evaluations from our qualified evaluators, and receive a final signature and certification from CAL FIRE / Ca State Fire Training. Both our Apprenticeship and Fellowship programs qualify people for this certification course.

The course is offered periodically through UC Cooperative Extension. View the program flyer. 

Get started today!
Receive early notification of the next Wildland Firefighter Type 2 (FFT2) course, Prescribed Fire Apprentice positions, and the Fire Forward Fellowship by joining the Good Fire Alliance online network.