National Wildfire Coordinating Group

RX-410, Smoke Management Techniques, 2003

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This course leads students through the ecological and historical role of fire, characteristics of smoke and the health, safety and visibility impacts of smoke. Other topics include public relations, legal requirements, meteorology, fuel consumption, smoke production dispersion modeling, and operational smoke management strategies. This course is designed to be interactive in nature. It contains a panel discussion, several exercises designed to facilitate group and class participation and case studies from a variety of fuel types and political challenges. The pre-course work assignment is designed to familiarize students with the NWCG Smoke Management Guide for Prescribed Fire, PMS 420-2, and air quality regulations that impact prescribed fire programs.


The overall objective of this course is to provide land managers with the knowledge to manage smoke and reduce its impacts on public health and welfare. Given existing and potential air quality regulations, political and social sensitivities, students will be able to:

  • Predict, manage, and monitor prescribed fire smoke.
  • Describe the legal, professional, and ethical reasons for managing smoke.
  • Describe the roles of federal, state, and local agencies and organizations involved with and affected by smoke from prescribed fire.

Target Group

Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 1 (RXB1), Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 2 (RXB2),  and the Long Term Fire Analyst (LTAN).
Other positions that would benefit from RX-410 include Fire Effects Monitor (FEMO), air regulators, fire ecologists, private landowners, other state and private agencies, prescribed fire consultants, fire planners.

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

  • Students should have a background in prescribed fire planning, implementing, monitoring, permitting or smoke/air regulating.
  • 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.



RX-410 is available as classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course Component Course Time
Pre-course work 2
Pre-selection assessment N/A
Online training N/A
Instructor-led training 32
Total Hours 34

Course Level

Regional, state, or area

Minimum Instructor Qualifications

Instructors must have prescribed and wildland fire experience as it relates to smoke management planning and implementation.

This course is demanding from an instructional perspective. Positive course dynamics depend on the technical knowledge, skill, and enthusiasm of the instructor. When hosting this course, it is recommended that a mentoring program be established for new or potential instructors to shadow experienced instructors.

The shadow will have the opportunity to really focus on the specific material and interact one-on-one with the instructor to acquire a full understanding of the subject before teaching it. This effort will help maintain the quality and consistency of the course and benefit new instructors as well. The intent is to build quality instructors and maintain the integrity of the course.

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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