Frequently Asked Questions

photo of 2 firefighters on the fireline with flames in the backgroundNWCG is assembling a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If you have a suggestion for a question, please contact the webmaster at: blm_fa_nwcg_webmaster@blm.gov.

General Questions

Individual membership to NWCG committees and subgroups is based upon a number of factors, including qualifications, experience, location, and position. If you are interested in representing your agency on a committee or subgroup, contact the committee or subgroup chair or your agency representative on the NWCG Executive Board.

For more information on committee membership and agency representative, see Committee Roles and Membership Information.

Publications Questions

You can find everything you need to place an order on our website at the "Catalogs and Ordering Links" web page.

All orders are made and placed through the Great Basin Cache. If you have any questions, please contact their supply desk at (208) 387-5104 or blm_fa_gbk@blm.gov

All orders are made and placed through the Great Basin Cache. If you have any questions, please contact their supply desk at (208) 387-5104 or blm_fa_gbk@blm.gov. They are the best source to answer your questions.

Position Task Book (PTB) Questions

These two positions perform distinctly different functions.

The employing unit/agency certifying official is the only person authorized to certify an employee’s qualification, not a final evaluator (whether the evaluator is employed by the same unit/agency or not). A fire management officer who is the designated certifying official for a unit/agency may also coincidentally be the final evaluator, but in that case would be serving a distinctly different role.

No, the employing home unit/agency makes that determination through established agency certification procedures; simply completing the PTB may or may not meet agency requirements. Check with your agency certifying official for clarification.

This determination can only be made by the employing unit/agency.

You should note at the time of evaluation your disagreement on the Incident Experience Record, and advise your home unit/agency. The certifying official cannot change the evaluation since it was based on observed performance, but you could contact the evaluator for further information and resolution.

This varies greatly depending on the extent of the experience, length of the incident, and other factors.

Any home unit/agency has the latitude to increase minimum requirements for its own personnel. However, those agencies would still be bound to accept personnel from other agencies who meet minimum requirements.

No. Some formal training courses will remain mandatory.

No. With the exception of “O” tasks, the tasks must be performed on incidents. The tasks designated as “W” must be performed on wildfires in order for that individual to meet qualification requirements of the position.

No. You must meet all position qualification requirements, and your home unit/agency certifying official must grant you qualification in the position.

It depends. For positions designated as wildland fire (WF) (see front cover of PTB) an NWCG PTB will need to be completed. If there is no WF designation, there is no need to have a new PTB issued.

It depends. You will need to work with the Incident Training Specialist and your home unit/agency to gain approval for issuing a new PTB. The home unit/agency will still need to initiate the PTB, which can be sent via email/fax.

Training Questions

Students successfully completing an NWCG course sponsored by an NWCG member agency will receive an NWCG certificate (for a list of member agencies go to NWCG Home Page).  Educational institutions, contractor associations, and non-member agencies may issue the NWCG course certificate if their lead instructor is an authorized representative of an NWCG member agency OR they have a formal agreement established with an NWCG member agency. Other instructors and entities that do not fall under this guidance can teach NWCG courses but would need to generate their own certificate to issue to the student. In that case it is recommended that non-NWCG generated certificate include: the NWCG course name, hours, date taught, student's name, and signed and printed qualified instructors name and contact information.

Session Offerings

Nationally advertised course sessions can now be found on the NWCG Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP), https://wildlandfirelearningportal.net/.  Log on as a guest to search for session offerings of this course and to view other public content.  To search for a specific course, use the "Find Learning" menu item at the top of the page, then select "Upcoming Courses.”  To view Geographic Area training schedules, select the specific "Geographic Area" information using the drop-down menu at the top of the page.  Contact your local training officer for more information about local course sessions.

Unfortunately, there is no master database for course certificates. Reach out to the agency or location where you took the course to see if by chance they kept a copy and/or record. If you have held a redcard at some point, you can try to get a copy of your IQCS or IQS master record, which shows course completions. You would have to go to the person who printed your redcard to get that information.

To print a certificate for an online course, please see the section "How do I print my NWCG NFA Online course completion certificate" below.

NWCG does not have a standard. It is up to the agency, or entity you work for to determine.

Position task books can be initiated before attendance and successful completion of required training. However, Trainees cannot become fully qualified for the position until required training has been successfully completed. A Trainee must be qualified in the prerequisite position(s) before a PTB can be initiated.

You can read about instructor qualifications and requirements in the NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1

Courses available for download from the NWCG training catalog

See the NWCG Training Catalog for courses available for download. Training course coordinators and instructors intending to delivery these courses should download the course materials from this catalog.  Training course coordinators and instructors intending to use the Wildland Fire Learning Portal to deliver these courses may load materials into the portal for their training sessions.

Courses available by order from the NFES publications catalog

See the NWCG Training Catalog for courses available by order from the NWCG National Fire Equipment System Catalog - Part 2: Publications or the Catalogs and Ordering Information page.  Training course coordinators and instructors intending to deliver these courses should order course materials from this catalog.

Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher courses

See the WFSTAR Catalog for information on delivering NWCG Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher courses.

As the NWCG Course Catalog transitions from print to digital, an additional reference date for course materials has been added. Previously, courses were printed in large quantities and spent significant time on the shelf in the cache. During that time, policy and terms changed, errors were discovered, and feedback was collected. The revision cycle started when materials were out of date and/or a significant number of errors, policy changes or feedback were collected. Between the certification date and the start of the revision cycle, updates were collected in list form and posted for instructors to view prior to teaching the course. Once revised, courses were tested, then certified, which generates the Certification Date.  

With the move to digital course materials, the revision cycle is no longer linked to physical materials or the associated revision cycle. NWCG now has the ability, as well as the need, to move much more quickly. NWCG will continue posting a Certification Date for those courses which have been significantly revised, but a new reference to Updated has been added. This term applies to courses which have had elements revised or updated, but for which a full-scale revision is not necessary, nor a test course.   

Online Training Questions

1. Confirm the installed Adobe Reader is the current version for the browser you are using:  https://get.adobe.com/reader/

2. To print the online course completion certificate, log into your NFA Online account.  From your Home Page select "View All" in the "Completed Work" pod.

3. Hover mouse over the title of the course, wait for pop-up and select "Print Certificate":

Displaying screenshot of completed work screen.

To review course content after the course has automatically moved into the Completed Work pod, select "My Learning Home" and then select "View All".

screenshot of Completed work with View All button.

Find the course you wish to review content, hover over the course name, wait for pop-up and then select the ‘Review Content’ option.

screenshot showing review content option

If the course has automatically tracked in NFA Online learning management system, student logs into their NFA Online account. From the Home Page, select "View All" in the "Completed Work" pod.

screenshot showing completed work and view all option.

Find the course you wish to review content or print a "module" certificate, hover over the course name and then select the ‘Review Content’ option. 

screenshot showing review content option.

To print an S-130 or S-190  "module" completion certificate, from the course content screen select a completed module and double click to launch the module. When the module topic page is open, select and click the "Challenge Review" topic; then select the "Print Certificate" option in the lower left of the screen.

The Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR) is a year-round program that provides training for wildland firefighters in order to maintain currency. Refresher materials are developed throughout the year and posted on the website when completed. Check the website any time for updates.

No, this course is an instructor-led course. The required number of hours is determined by the agency. Please refer to the NWCG Wildland Fire Qualification System Guide (PMS 310-1) for positions that require Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher training.

Nationally advertised course sessions can now be found on the NWCG Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP), https://wildlandfirelearningportal.net/.  Log on as a guest to search for session offerings of this course and to view other public content.  To search for a specific course, use the "Find Learning" menu item at the top of the page, then select "Upcoming Courses.”  To view Geographic Area training schedules, select the specific "Geographic Area" information using the drop-down menu at the top of the page.  Contact your local training officer for more information about local course sessions.

Virtual Training Delivery Questions

For additional information, visit the Training Delivery Committee homepage.

COVID 19 Mitigations

Depending on health and safety guidelines in your respective Geographic Area, state, and/or county, some courses may be cancelled due to COVID-19.

Depending on your respective Geographic Area and in line with CDC, state, and local government guidelines, some classes may take place in person with COVID-19 mitigations in place. NWCG, Geographic Area Training Specialists, and instructors have been working on enhancing courses for virtual instructor-led delivery to meet the needs of students.

Depending on your respective Geographic Area and in line with CDC, state, and local government guidelines, COVID-19 mitigations may be required for in-person delivery. Mitigations may include social distancing, utilization of masks, and smaller class sizes. Consult your local Training Officer, Course Coordinator, or training facility for information specific to the location of your training.

The following courses have been identified as essential for in-person deliveries due to their unique learning environments:

Virtual Delivery of Training

Classes required for qualifications and positions have been identified as critical. NWCG staff and committees and the Geographic Area Training Specialists have been working to enhance courses for virtual instructor-led delivery.

See Courses in NWCG Certified Course Library on the Wildland Fire Learning Portal for courses intended for virtual instructor-led training.

Courses are prioritized for virtual delivery based on the following criteria:

  • Training required for qualification in an NWCG position.
  • Training required for an IFPM/FS-FPM Position Description (PD) (e.g., M-581, S-491).
  • Training required for an IFPM/FS-FPM qualification for PD (e.g., S-300 and S-390 for ICT3).

Training required only by a specific agency must be coordinated with the appropriate National Training Officer for alternative options.

There are a multitude of ways to deliver courses virtually. In some instances, courses have been identified as more suitable for self-directed learning (asynchronous) than virtual instructor-led training (synchronous), which may incorporate webinars, virtual instructor-led live presentations, etc.

Asynchronous: Training where the students and/or instructors are not interacting with each other in real time. Typically, the students are accessing learning resources at a time of their choosing.

Synchronous: Training where the students and instructors interact with each other at the same time.

See Virtual Delivery of NWCG Training Courses for more information.

No, curriculum and content will be consistent with existing NWCG course standards.

NWCG, Geographic Area Training Specialists, and subject matter experts are working together to transfer and enhance existing NWCG course content for virtual delivery within the Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP). While NWCG curriculum cannot be modified, it can be enhanced by geographic and local training programs to meet the needs of students.

Virtual and in-person class sizes must still meet the NWCG standard for student-to-instructor ratio along with other pre-existing guidelines; however, COVID-19 mitigations may require smaller class sizes.

Enrollment

The length of the nomination period is at the discretion of the Geographic Area Training Programs. Coordinate with your local Training Officers or Geographic Area Training Representative.

Course attendance is at the discretion of your local Training Officer and Geographic Area Training Representative.

The nomination process for virtual courses is the same as in-person courses. For information specific to the nomination process in your Geographic Area, contact your local Training Officer or Geographic Area Training Representative.

Wildland Fire learning Portal (WFLP)

The WFLP is an enterprise learning management system (LMS) that enables the wildland fire community to better meet their education and training needs. The WFLP uses a single software platform to manage, deliver, and evaluate training or learning activities.

National Wildland Fire Training Centers, Geographic Area Training Centers, state interagency partners, and local units are all actively using the WFLP for the management and delivery of education and training. COVID-19 mitigations led to a significant increase in those using the WFLP to develop, manage or deliver training.

Create a profile for the WFLP by going to the top right corner of the homepage, selecting sign-in, and following the instructions to set up a new profile.

Click on top menu item Find Learning and then click on Courses. This will bring up a search box where you can enter a phrase to describe what you are looking for.

Workshops have been created to support instructors and staff delivering training using the WFLP. For more information and self-enrollment in the workshops, visit the Editing Trainer and Course Creator page.

Other Questions

Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to help you with this as the NAP is run by the US Forest Service. Please contact their helpdesk:

Mistakes in content, missing information, bad links, etc.

InciWeb is an interagency system that provides information about wildfires, prescribed burns, floods, hurricanes, and other events. An agency and/or incident management team assigned to the incident is responsible for initiating and maintaining information on InciWeb. For questions and/or comments on a specific incident, please contact the Incident Contacts listed on each page of an incident.

Technical problems, suggestions to make program better, java-script errors, etc.

Please contact the Interagency Incident Applications Helpdesk https://iiahelpdesk.nwcg.gov/

Our policy on linking to other websites is listed on our website notices page.  We follow the policies for the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture; both are referenced on this page. If you feel your site meets these criteria, please email the webmaster at blm_fa_nwcg_webmaster@blm.gov.

Airtanker Questions

Use the NIFC Large Fire Support code.

If the CLIN has not flown a minimum of 30 minutes in a 15 day lookback period the flight would be a revenue flight. If a relief crewmember is coming in who is not proficient (same requirements as the CLIN [Contract Line Item Number]) but the CLIN is, the flight would be a non-revenue flight.

If possible, have the crew come on prior to the start time and complete the proficiency flight. If they choose to not come in early and the airtanker receives a dispatch prior to the proficiency flight, the airtanker would be unavailable until the proficiency flight is completed. Call the airtanker COR (Contracting Officers Representative) listed on the most current Schedule of Items for additional clarification on proficiency flights.

Yes. Document the starting and ending fuel amounts and notify the COR and the DLA/Air Card (Defense Logistics Agency) program.

Notify dispatch, local GACC (Geographic Area Coordination Center), AMI (Aircraft Maintenance Inspector), national aircraft/fixed wing coordinator, National Airtanker Program Manager and COR. Dispatch and the GACC should be notified immediately and the remainder of the notifications need to happen as soon as practical. A group text or email would suffice. The same notifications need to be made when the airtanker has been returned to contract availability by the AMI.

Whether on 9 or 14 hour availability UA is assessed until either the aircraft is returned to contract availability by the AMI or the end of the 9 or 14 hour availability day whichever comes first. For 14 hour availability, if the aircraft is unavailable for any part of the 14 hours, even if the aircrews are not on site or even if it is well past sunset, UA will be assessed until the airtanker is returned to contract availability by the AMI.

Utilize the DLA rate at the location the airtanker is leaving to go to company headquarters.

State airtankers would be sent to State fires and may load and return without the federal airtankers being included in the rotation. Federal airtankers would be sent first to Federal fires and the state airtankers “may” be added to the rotation. There is no requirement saying that either state or federal airtankers must be included in the rotation of the other agencies fires. You may contact your local GACC and request additional Alpha numbers for airtankers to be included in the rotation, but the ordering agency has the authority to deny the request.

Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
2021-03-30