M-581, Fire Program Management - An Overview, N/A

Decorative banner: Four photos showing wildland fire managers in various duties. From left to right: woman talking to two men, three wildland firefighters looking down at map, man sitting at desk in front of computer screen, and wildland firefighter point west with flames and other firefighters in background.

Course Overview Page ButtonAdministration Button


The M-581 training will provide Agency Administrators and Fire Program Managers with knowledge required to safely and effectively administer low to moderate complexity wildland fire programs.


Essential guiding principles for imparting this knowledge include: enhancing the students' understanding of the wildland fire culture; ensuring an understanding of their role in decision making in all areas of the wildland fire program; an understanding of the risks inherent in their decisions; utilizing experiential training techniques that will engage students in ways that challenge them to explore the policy, social, political, environmental and human elements of wildland fire program management and oversight.

Target Group

Current or Future Agency Administrators and future Fire Program Managers who have direct responsibility to plan, organize, budget, manage and evaluate Fire Management Programs.

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 work1-2
Pre-selection assessmentN/A
Online trainingN/A
Instructor-led training34-38
Total Hours36-40

Course Level

National, regional, state, or area

Minimum Instructor Qualifications

The combined cadre must have career or educational backgrounds and an expert level of knowledge in risk management, wildland fire policy, budget, legal liability, wildland fire response, fuels management, aviation management, and agency administrator responsibilities. All instructors must be well prepared to present complex subject matter and lead classroom activities in order to achieve the learning objectives outlined in this course criteria. The NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1, instructor requirements should be waived for Agency Administrators, College Professors and other experienced subject matter experts who may have extensive experience presenting, but may not have attended the formal M-410, Facilitative Instructor.

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.


Print Training Overview Page



Functional Area: 
Prescribed Fire
Primary Committee: 
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 

Please Provide Feedback

NWCG values your constructive input and we thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.

Although contact information is optional, we hope that you provide a way for us to contact you in case we need clarification on your comment. If you would like to be contacted regarding your feedback, you must provide contact information. 

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.