M-581, Fire Program Management - An Overview, 2017

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This course is designed to meet the needs of current and future unit-level Agency Administrators and Fire Program Managers. It is intended to aid in the application of fire management principles in sound decision-making, business management, human resource management, administrative functions, use of state-of-the-art tools and methods in fire management programs, and recognition of the necessity for personal accountability required in overseeing a fire program management.


  • Identify the principles, policies and procedures to effectively and safely lead, plan, and implement a Fire Management Program.
  • Identify the program management, reporting, and personal accountability responsibilities of the Agency Administrator and Unit Fire Program Manager.

Target Group

This course is intended for current or future Agency Administrators and future Unit Fire Program Managers who have direct responsibility to plan, organize, budget, manage, and evaluate fire management programs (i.e., district rangers, park superintendents, project leaders or refuge managers, district or field office managers, fire operations supervisors, new or acting line officers, battalion chiefs, assistant fire management officers, crew superintendents, helicopter crew supervisors, Unit Aviation Managers, lead dispatchers, dispatch center managers, fuels specialists, or state and local agency fire program leaders).

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

  • ICS–100, Introduction to Incident Command System (ICS)
  • IS-700, National Incident Management System (NIMS), an Introduction

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.


M-581 is available as classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course ComponentCourse Time
Pre-course workN/A
Pre-selection assessmentN/A
Online trainingN/A
Instructor-led training32-36
Total Hours32-36

Course Level

National, regional, state, or area

Minimum Instructor Qualifications

Nationally recognized subject matter experts and practitioners serve as instructors in this course.

Course schedules and instructors are determined by geographic area training coordinators.

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


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Functional Area: 
Prescribed Fire
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