National Wildfire Coordinating Group

L-480, Organizational Leadership in the Wildland Fire Service, 2015

L-480 Decorative banner.  Three photos depicting wildland fire supervisory positions. Photo of two aviation supervisors hand signal to and incoming aircraft. A firefighter talks on a handheld radio. Two firefighters review something on a tablet.

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This is a leadership development recommendation that will provide mid- and upper-level organizational leaders and future Incident Management Team leaders (Command and General Staff) with the leadership tools to provide strategic direction and influence others to achieve team goals.


The NWCG Leadership Committee has oversight and maintenance responsibility for the L-480 criteria and evaluation process. However, the delivery process used to meet this training recommendation will need to be determined by the hosting agency. Specific course information can be found at the Wildland Fire Leadership website at

Selected course materials should address these topics:

  • Communication skills
  • Command presence
  • Situational awareness, vision and change
  • Leadership skills within a team environment
  • Recognition and reward
  • Mentorship, coaching and delegation


  • The intent of this training recommendation is to develop personal leadership skills and command presence to increase effectiveness in the workplace and during incident management operations.

Target Group

Personnel desiring to be qualified as Type 2 Command and General Staff, and mid- to upper-level organizational leaders. 

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

  • Successful completion of L-380, Fireline Leadership


  • Successful completion of L-381, Incident Leadership


  • Successful completion of L-180, Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service; plus completion of 40 hours in any supervision or leadership training course(s)


  • Satisfactory completion of pre-course work.

Session Offerings

Sessions of this course may be available in the NWCG Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP). Enrollment requires an account. 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 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.



L-480 is available as classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course Component Course Time
Pre-course work 8
Pre-selection assessment N/A
Online training N/A
Instructor-led training 32
Total Hours 40

Course Level

Regional, state, or area

Minimum Instructor Qualifications

For instructions on how to become a course provider, including course design criteria, minimum instructor qualifications, and certification process, refer to Reference Materials for Becoming an NWCG L-Course Provider.

Curriculum lead contact list.

See NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1, Instructor Standards for more information.

Certification Date:


Previous Certification Dates:



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