National Wildfire Coordinating Group

M-582, Fire Program Management, Leading Complex Fire Programs, 2017

M-582 Decorative banner: Three photos showing wildland fire managers in various duties. From left to right: woman talking to two men, three wildland firefighters looking down at map, group of three fire managers greeting an army official and Idaho governor Butch Otter.

Course Overview Page Button


This course was developed using an experiential and collaborative approach to learning. It is designed to be highly-engaging in dialogue, exercises, interactive scenarios, and simulations. The course is a comprehensive look at the Agency Administrator’s leadership role in highly complex issues within fire management programs. Topics include Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy, Fuels and Prescribed Fire Policy, risk management and decision-making, critical relationships, development of adaptive and resilient programs, and hosting complex incidents. The complex fire situation is highlighted with the intent to provide a comprehensive understanding of the processes necessary to effectively manage the situation. Included are the Agency Administrator’s briefing, developing and conveying clear intent and objectives, creating a healthy command climate and relationships within their teams and among partners and stakeholders, and other critical items.


  • Identify the Agency Administrator’s responsibilities to provide leadership in fire and fuels management.
  • Gain a common understanding of all the fire management agencies national policy, Agency Administrator responsibility and accountability, and authority for all fire management actions.
  • Understand the importance of fire as an essential ecological process and the role of fire management programs in achieving desired future conditions.
  • Gain a common understanding of risk informed decision-making and safety philosophy in the context of wildland fire program management.

Target Group

This course is intended for line officers with a journey level of experience overseeing a wildland fire program: Forest Service Forest Supervisor/Deputy Forest Supervisor levels, National Park Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs Superintendent/Deputy Superintendent levels, Bureau of Land Management Field Manager/District Manager levels, Fish & Wildlife Service Refuge Management Project Leader level, and state and local Agency Administrators.

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

  • M-581, Fire Program Management, an Overview


  • LFML, Local Fire Management Leadership

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.



M-582 is available as a blended online training and classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course Component Course Time
Pre-course work N/A
Pre-selection assessment N/A
Online training 18-24
Instructor-led training 32-36
Total Hours 50-60

Additional Course Information

Course schedules and instructors are determined by M-582, Agency Administrator Advanced Wildland Fire Steering Committee.

Course Level


Minimum Instructor Qualifications

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

See Instructor Standards Section for more information.

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


Print Training Overview Page



Functional Area: 
Prescribed Fire
Primary Committee: 
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